Updated as April 15, 2022 as of 11:39 a.m. to include additional information from team members.
The Elon University dance team has returned from the National Dance Alliance Championship with the national championship title and memories to last a lifetime. The team placed first place with its Division I hip hop routine and placed third overall with its Division I pom routine.
This is the first time since 1981 that an Elon team has won a National Championship and the first time in the program’s history that the team won the NDA championship. It was also the first time the team brought a pom routine to Nationals.
Sophomore dancer Isabella Venziale said hearing the support from competing teams and complete strangers was surreal after the results were announced, following their hip hop victory.
“Hearing teams that we have grown up admiring and watching, congratulating us was incredible,” Venziale said.
Elon won the hip hop national title by a margin of two-tenths of a point — outscoring Utah Valley University.
The team placed third overall in pom with zero deductions and a final performance score of 91.4.
This year was also the first time since 2019 that Elon qualified for Nationals. Although this was not her first time competing, Elon senior and dance team captain Gabby Clancy said becoming national champions is a special experience, but doing it alongside her fellow dancers made it that much more special.
“Being able to step on stage alongside teammates with this much drive, passion and heart is not something everyone gets to experience,” Clancy said. “This was the perfect ending to my four years as a member of EUDT.”
Although this was Freshman Ali Dunlin’s first time attending Nationals she said she will never forget the experience.
“I'm so proud of my team for never letting up on our goals,” Dulin said.
The team was also awarded the Innovative Choreography Award for its hip hop routine. The award is given when the judges see something special within the choreography. This year, the hip hop routine was choreographed by Anthony Menari — an outside choreographer who was hired by the team. Menari said he is honored to win the award along with the team.
“This was the first time my choreography has ever won a national title, so receiving an award along with it is a dream come true,” Menari said.