The beat of Lemont High School

The Tom-Tom

The beat of Lemont High School

The Tom-Tom

The beat of Lemont High School

The Tom-Tom

UDA college championship: who will come on top?

After+the+UDA+Championship%2C+there+has+been+a+vast+amount+of+debate+over+the+top+two+jazz+routines+performed+by+University+of+Minnesota+and+Ohio+State+University.
Lauren Magdziarz
After the UDA Championship, there has been a vast amount of debate over the top two jazz routines performed by University of Minnesota and Ohio State University.

You’ve heard of the Super Bowl, but have you heard of the Dance Super Bowl? Technically it’s the Universal Dance Association (UDA) College National Championship, but the dance community infamously knows it as the “Dance Super Bowl”. Hosted in Orlando, Florida, the top college dance teams across the country meet at the Walt Disney World Resort in January to compete in various dance styles of jazz, hip hop, poms, etc. 

This season, the championships occurred from Jan. 12-14, and schools such as Ohio State University, Louisiana State University (LSU) and University of Minnesota have gained publicity for their performances from the competition. Debate has circulated the media over the winners of such performances, and I too have an opinion on the matter. I have watched many of the jazz and hip hop pieces from the weekend and am here to give the full opinion from a dancer’s perspective.

The top performances in the rankings include LSU hip hop (97.22), Ohio State jazz (98.92) and Minnesota jazz (98.43).

If I were to rank these performances, my top choice would be OHIO STATE! While this may seem straightforward, because they did in fact receive first place, there has been much debate over if Ohio State or Minnesota should have won first place. Ohio State’s performance to “My Way” by Frank Sinatra paved the way for true emotion through dance at the college level. 

Story continues below advertisement

Many teams are so focused on getting their movements together that they forget about the passion in dance, but Ohio State did not fall into this trap. The choreographer, Travis Wall, has gained a poor reputation for sexual assault, but his choreography sure was a masterpiece.The use of their red ties and black jackets created unique visuals when paired with their cleanliness and passion. Although the piece wasn’t as technically difficult as Minnesota’s, the overall effect was powerful.

Minnesota’s jazz piece would be a very close second on my rankings to the song “Dream On” by Aerosmith as a tribute to the 2004 team who competed with the same song. Their dancing was mesmerizing to watch due to their compelling technical difficulty and nearly perfect execution. The only complaint that I would have that makes it not up to par with Ohio State would be the choreographed transitions from one section to the next were not as seamless and the emotions were not as deep. 

However, their turn section was incredibly difficult with multiple second revolutions to an aerial (no handed cartwheel), then without putting down the second leg, they went right back into the turns. Minnesota’s routine was far more difficult than Ohio, but it was the little things that set these teams apart.

The most entertaining piece of the competition in my opinion was the LSU hip hop routine to “Smooth Criminal” by Michael Jackson. This piece hasn’t gained as much publicity as the top two jazz routines, but after watching it, I’m surprised that it isn’t going viral. The tribute to MJ highlighted multiple dance moves that are iconic to the celebrity and the focus on footwork made the routine very unique. 

Carsen Rowe, choreographer of the LSU team, created flawless transitions and dynamics with the incorporation of footwork and group work. I thoroughly enjoyed watching this piece as the routine was mostly all of the dancers doing the exact same thing on the floor. The cleanliness of the routine created a satisfying visual for everyone watching, while not focusing on the “fancy” tricks that other teams seem to have.

For the first time ever, people who’ve never danced before are now invested in college dance teams. Pure talent is finally being recognized in the dance world in a way that has never been seen before in newspapers and news stations. If you haven’t had the chance yet, I would highly recommend watching these pieces and many others from the UDA Nationals.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Tom-Tom
$700
$1000
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of Lemont High School. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Lauren Magdziarz, Staff Writer
Senior Lauren Magdziarz is a first year Journalism member. She is super excited to share all that she has to offer with you this year. Lauren is a very dedicated student in the classroom and beyond. If not in school or studying,  she is working to better herself in her craft of dance. Lauren has been dancing competitively for four  years and is ready to carry her dancing career beyond high school . She is also involved in NHS and loves to volunteer whenever she can! Lauren is very ready to apply all that she has learned in high school to her future college career.
Donate to The Tom-Tom
$700
$1000
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The Tom-Tom Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *