On Sat. April 19, the Randolph-Macon College Dance and Cheer Teams both separately competed at the two day Jamfest Nationals at the Greater Richmond Convention Center and both teams proudly and deservingly walked away with National Titles.
The Dance team won the title of “Grand Champions in the D2 College Open Dance Division.” The competition routine was a combination of jazz, pom, and hip-hop dancing. Senior and captain of the Dance team, Katharine Winters, described the routine as a “very high energy routine” and a showcase of dancing that the team does not get to perform during football and basketball season.
The team competed with a group of six members, including two captains seniors Winters and Savannah Kaiser. The team practices for two hours a week, not including competition workout routines that had been added to prepare for competition. Practices over the course of the year included learning around 60 different cheers that could be called during a football or basketball game, 13 dances they perform when the pep band plays, and 10 longer dances that are played during halftimes and timeouts of the games as well.
With their success last weekend, the Dance team now moves on to the U.S. Finals in Virginia Beach on May 10th. This is one of the competitions that will take place all over the country that weekend. The team will compete in the in the same division, D2 College Open Dance. They will then receive
a score which will be compared to other scores from other competitions. Last year, the team received the title of National Grand Champions and are hopeful they will bring another title home again this year.
Winters described the team as a “small family”. “We have always had a small number of members so no matter what is going on in our personal lives we always come to practice focused on our dancing as a team” . The team is very optimistic looking forward to next year but notes that their biggest problem is always finding people who are able to make the time commitment of a yearlong practices. Winters is also very hopefully looking forward to the future and believes that the team will “continue to grow and improve each year to help people understand what it means to be a member of the RMC Dance Team and gain support in the years to come”.
On the same day, the Randolph-Macon Cheerleading team also won the title of National Champions at Jamfest competition for the first time in school history. The Cheerleading team was one of only five teams in the nation to compete in this competition.
The Cheerleading team also begins their season in August, preparing for performance at football and basketball games. Senior captain Sara Miller shared that practices really depend on the seasonal sport they are cheering for, “Often [our] practices are late at night and can be on or off campus. We also have 6 am morning practices because we all are very involved on campus and that is the time where no one is busy”.
Miller was one of the five seniors on the team this year who chose to work together as captains.,“We all work very well together since each of us have different strengths. We are all very busy with our senior year so it was nice that we were able to communicate effectively”.
As for this past week and the success of the competition, Miller noted how blessed she was to have been part of this team but noted that there is definitely room for improvement next year, “It went well but we can all say that we could have done even better.”
Looking forward to next year, Miller said that they biggest challenge facing the team would be having new leadership because the seniors this year were very prominent in building a great program.
Both Dance and Cheer teams perform regularly at football and basketball games, and both teams would love your support next year!
-Becca Ream ’16, Senior Sports Editor