Simpson dance team takes fifth at nationals


Photo: Austin Hronich/The Simpsonian

by Emma Schlenker, Staff Reporter

The Simpson College dance team had its best-ever showing at a national tournament, earning two top 10 awards at the 2018 National Dance Alliance championship that took place April 3–7 in Orlando, Florida.

The team took fifth place in the Division lll team performance category and eighth in the jazz category. Last year, the Simpson dancers placed second at the state championship and ninth at nationals.

The team performance category is a combination of jazz, pom and hip-hop styles.

Junior Madi Paulson, who is dance team co-captain, said, “It is meant to showcase a team’s strengths in each style as well as show great stamina throughout the entire routine.”

The team’s improvements this year can be attributed to their additional weight lifting and a new team atmosphere.

“Dedication is a really big part of that, and I think all of us having a great work ethic, attitude and drive is a big part of a successful team,” said co-captain Taia Veren, a junior.

“We all understand what our goals are, and we have pushed and supported each other in order to reach them,” said Paulson.

“It was awesome to be competing with all the best teams in the nation, and really we were able to feed off all that energy for competition,” Veren said.

The team has come a long way in just the past three years and said they have continued to improve and break their own records.

“From when I started nearly three years ago, the environment and mentality of the team has experienced a positive shift,” said Paulson. “We have all improved alongside each other and helped each other through our own struggles.”

“We had the opportunity this year to make finals for our team performance, which are held on the bandshell stage right across from the beach,” said Veren.

The team plans on continuing to break their own records and recruit more talented dancers for next year. They also plan on implementing more challenging tricks and techniques.

“I see the Simpson dance team becoming an even more competitive, athletic and fun team next year,” said Paulson.