St. John’s Dance Team Takes Top Honors at National Competition
St. John’s University’s Dance Team took home first-place honors for their game day routine and second place in the hip-hop competition at the 2018 UCA and UDA College Cheerleading and Dance Team National Championship, held January 12–14 in Orlando, FL. The annual event is the most prestigious college cheerleading and dance team championship in the country.
This was the first year that the game day portion was introduced to the competition, making the Red Storm the first Division I champions in this category. In hip-hop, St. John's placed second behind Southeastern Louisiana University.
“Winning a national championship for St. John's in game day, while also placing second in the nation in hip-hop, was a big stride for our program," observed Head Coach Christine McCarton. “These dancers practice for countless hours all year to perform at every basketball and soccer game, in addition to performing at other University events.” She added, “The dance team is a huge part of our athletic and spirit programs at St. John's.”
Despite a demanding schedule, these students love what they do, Coach McCarton stressed. The team is comprised of 24 women and one man from different dance backgrounds and from all across the country. “Their strength as a team is enhanced by that diversity,” she said.
“We traveled to Florida with the goal of doing our absolute best, leaving it all on the floor, and having a great time,” said Team Captain Jennifer Hug, a junior majoring in Communications. “Medaling in two categories is a huge accomplishment, and being the first team to win Division 1 game day was the perfect ending to our nationals weekend.”
“They have formed a great bond this season and have become like family,” Coach McCarton noted. “They are an amazing group who I am so incredibly proud to coach.”