SDSU dance team defends national title in jazz and hip-hop divisions

by Tori Tackett, Contributor

For most fans, halftime is the ideal time to take a bathroom break or go grab a bucket of popcorn before action resumes.

However, when fans of the San Diego State basketball and football teams were making a break for the concession stands, they were missing the work of a two-time national-champion dance team.

The SDSU dance team defended its national title in the jazz and hip-hop divisions at the 2016 United Spirit Association Collegiate Championships on March 20-21 in Anaheim.

SDSU had taken home the award in 2015, as well.

The two-day competition consisted of two rounds, one on each day.

The final score was tallied by using 40 percent of the score from day one, combined with 60 percent of the score from day two.

This is only the fourth year SDSU’s dance team has competed in a UDA competition — the largest collegiate dance competition in the nation.

Dance team Vice President Tori Kullman thought one of the greatest accomplishments at the national tournament was being able to incorporate all of the team’s members in the competition.

“It didn’t really matter how many team members were out there on the floor, it was just cool knowing that everyone was out there and able to compete,” Kullman said.

The team’s championship jazz routine featured a song with a deliberate message for young women.

The dance routine was performed to an instrumental version of “Dare You To Move” by Switchfoot and was overlaid with audio from an “Always” commercial that is part of the “Like A Girl” campaign. The campaign seeks to redefine the phrase “like a girl” as something that indicates strength and power.

“We want to inspire younger dancers, and girls in general — and anyone really — to think about the world differently in terms of what women can do,” team captain Alyssa Moscrop said.

While some students and fans only see the dance team at sporting events, many may be surprised to learn the team is very active within the community. Outside of practice and games, the dance team is involved with numerous community organizations on campus.

“A big portion of what we do is volunteer work and community service,” Moscrop said. “We work with young kids a lot, especially kids who are thinking about going to college. The other portion is competition, it’s in our contract that we have to compete and we love it, so it’s something that we are very serious about.”

Currently, the team has 27 members, with six graduating seniors, making it one of the biggest graduating classes the team has seen.

Every year the team continues to grow and every year it gets tougher to say goodbye to the graduating seniors, who laid down a solid foundation for the future.

“It’s really cool to see how much the program has grown and I think for us, it will be exciting to see how much farther the team can push themselves in the next few years,” Moscorp said.