Cheer and Dance to Compete at National Championships

Cheer and Dance to Compete at National Championships

ORLANDO, Fla. – Northern Arizona University will be represented at the 2010 College Cheerleading and Dance Team National Championships Jan. 15-18, 2010 held at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports.

The Dance team will compete in the Jazz and Hip Hop categories. Each school can compete in two of the three offered categories (pom). The Jazz (9 a.m. EST) and Hip Hop (3 p.m. EST) semifinals will be conducted on Saturday at the Jostens Center with the Cheer Coed Division I semifinals at the Milkhouse.

“We have our choreographers come in October and we start practicing the routine,” said Dance Coach Cassie Laughlin. “We perform as much as possible in front of crowds.”

The NAU Dance team will have 20 members of the squad traveling to Orlando with 18 performing with two alternates in case of injuries.

“The goal for the team is to go to finals in both categories for Division I,” said Laughlin, who is a former member of the squad. “It is something we have never done before. We have gone to finals in one category each year.”

NAU’s Hip-Hip routine was choreographed by Bonita Lovett, a UDA Master Hip-Hop choreographer. The Jazz routine was choreographed by Natasha Lewis. who is based out of Phoenix.

NAU finished a school-best fourth at the 2008 Universal Dance Association College Dance Team National Championships at Walt Disney World in the Division I Hip Hop category.

The Dance team will be represented by three seniors who have been on the squad all four years, including Caitlyn Emery (Chandler, Ariz.), Sarah Nett (Mesa, Ariz.) and Emy Ziemba (Fairfax, Va.).

The Cheer team has four seniors on the roster: Travis Doerfler (Thousand Oaks, Calif.), Casey Kerwin (Lake Powell, Ariz.), Joseph Stell (Lancaster, Calif.) and Jennifer Wittig (Tempe, Ariz.)