The Elon University Dance Team is making its way to compete in Nationals at the National Dance Alliance in Daytona, Florida. The team won first place in 2022 in the Hip Hop division, yet in 2023 placed second. The team hopes to rank at the top for the Hip Hop and Pom Divisions this year. 

All teams will compete in preliminary rounds of performances and the top 60% will move on to finals. The team will compete this week April 11 to 13 in Daytona, Florida, and the performances will be live-streamed on the Varsity website. 

Junior Julliette Baudoin has been on the team all three years of her college experience, and said having a send-off and seeing support from the community means a lot to the team. 

“It was just the best feeling ever to see all of our friends and family just here to support us and just feeling the energy in the crowd,” Baudoin said.

She also said having other athletic teams supporting them at the send-off was an amazing feeling. 

This year’s routines are unique in the way they tell a story, she said.

“I feel like every year we just keep getting better and better and I’m so excited to show everyone our routines, I love them,” Baudoin said. 

Senior Henna Reid said she got her nerves out the first go-round in past years.  

“There’s always going to be little butterflies in your stomach going on stage, that’s just what a dancer deals with all the time. But at this point I’ve learned how to maintain my nervousness,” Reid said. 

Reid said seniority and class titles aren’t factors in roles and leadership within the team. 

“We all feel welcomed, loved, heard, and we just work with each other in the best ways possible,” Reid said.

Rachel Holley | Elon News Network

The Elon University Dance Team performs a Pom routine on April 5 just before leaving to compete in the National Dance Alliance competition in Daytona, Florida from April 11 to 13.

Senior Sophia Gallagher also said seniority isn’t a huge factor on the team. 

“Even though I’m a senior, I still have so much to learn from everyone, like even the freshmen,” Gallagher said. “It’s interesting to learn from them as much as they can hopefully learn from me.”

Gallagher said even though the team spends a lot of time together, they don’t get tired of each other as they have a ‘team before me’ mindset. 

“You’re not trying to compete against the person next to you, like everyone works together,” Gallagher said. “We win as a team, we lose as a team.”

Freshman Sarah Culver said being on the Elon Dance Team is different than any other dance team she has been a part of before. 

“The Elon Dance Team’s biggest difference is the heart,” Culver said. “We all want it so bad and that’s shown in our practices, performances, nationals, just in everything you can tell that everyone on the team is just like really rooting for each other and so supportive.”