KU Spirit Squad Shines at Nationals

Jan. 23, 2008

Members of the Jayhawk Spirit Squad returned home this week from Orlando, Fla., where they competed in the Universal Cheerleaders Association/Universal Dance Association (UCA/UDA) College Nationals from Jan. 18-21. The weekend proved to be a success for the competitors, as both the cheer squad and Rock Chalk Dancers placed in the top 10 in their respective competitions.

Cheer finished in second place out of twelve teams in the semifinals before advancing to Finals. There, the team finished in ninth place out of 15 teams. The performance marked the first time the team has finished in the top ten with UCA.

Dance placed fourth in the semifinals out of 24 teams. The team finished fourth in Finals, marking the sixth year in a row that the team has finished in the top five.

Dance also competed in the Hip Hop category, where they finished in 6th place out of 20 teams in the semifinals. The team came in sixth place overall, competing against eight other teams in Finals.

In the partner stunt competition, cheerleaders Elizabeth Bellinger and Jacob Ross, along with Adam Harley and Hannah Widell, competed for the Jayhawks. Out of the 22 couples that competed, Harley and Widell finished in 10th place while Ross and Bellinger placed 18th.

The UCA/UDA is considered to be the “Final Four” of College Cheer and Dance Competitions. The event was taped and will be aired on ESPN in March and April.