ORLANDO, Fla. – One team, one heartbeat. That was the motto for the Northern Arizona University dance team this year. That singular heartbeat led them to a level never before reached by the Lumberjack dance program: a Division I National Championship.
The NAU dance team captured their first-ever UDA Division I national title in January at the UCA & UDA College Cheerleading & Dance Team National Championships in Orlando. The Lumberjacks bested a talented field to claim first in the Hip Hop category, hoisting the hardware over runner-up University of Delaware with a routine that was unlike anything they had performed before.
"This year's routine was a little different than what we've done in the past," said Director of Dance Cassie Foss. "We had a brand new choreographer this year and it had a variety of hip hop styles. It made us look very diverse, and we stood out at nationals which allowed us to come back with a national title. It was everything we could've ever hoped for and it validated all of the hard work our girls put in."
The 'Jacks also placed third in the Division I Jazz competition as they were the only team to place in the top three in both categories. The overall performance was NAU's best at the UDA National Championships.
"From the first day we started in July, they really believed and they worked together," Foss said. "They support each other and they took it upon themselves to make this year the best that they could. Winning the national title and placing third in jazz in Division I is huge for NAU. It made them proud to be part of NAU Dance."
Fans who see them supporting NAU's athletic teams know that the dance team is special. Now the rest of the country knows them as National Champions.