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Midland Dance Team Named National Champions

Midland Dance Team Named National Champions

Apr 16th , 2013

The Midland University dance team has claimed the 2013 NDA Collegiate National Championship in this year’s NAIA Small Dance Division. The Warriors earned an 8.790 for their performance in the finals and received the Innovative Choreography Award. Midland Dance earns the national championship victory in just the third season since the program’s inception.

"I am so incredibly proud to be able to coach these dancers," said Trish Ryan, Midland University dance head coach. "There is something truly special about this team, and that was proven in the final awards.“

With just under 300 teams in contention annually, the NDA/NCA College Nationals is the largest collegiate competition in the nation. The Warriors reached the national stage after receiving a Gold Qualifying Bid at the regional competition—a result of Midland’s second regional championship in three years.

"I am so proud to be a part of this team. Over the past three years the program has grown so much and it's been amazing to be involved with that,” said Haley McWilliams, a senior captain. “The many hours of practice since August and team unity helped us accomplish what we did this week. It was an amazing way to end my collegiate dance career."

The national championship comes on the heels of rapid growth for Midland Dance. Since the program’s inaugural season in 2011, the team roster has doubled, expanding from 12 dancers to 24. The young program has qualified for nationals in every year of competition, improving from 5th place in 2011 to 3rd place last season and National Champion in 2013.

Recent success and expansion spurred the addition of a Hip-Hop Team to Midland’s 2013 repertoire. In what was the Hip-Hop squad’s first year of competition, the group landed a top-10 finish at the national event.

"The Hip Hop Team really came together and had an amazing spirit about them,” said Ryan. “This team never let their guard down and fought for a top-10 spot among Division II schools. The Hip Hop side to our program will only go up from here!"

A nationally acclaimed choreographer, Ryan finds the national championship and the 2013 Innovative Choreography Award in just her second season as Midland’s head coach. She cites Midland’s investment in student opportunities as the major motivator in her decision to come on in the fall of 2011.

"What is unique about the dance program at Midland University is the fact that dance is designated as an official NAIA sport, offering athletic scholarships to dancers who want to pursue it further at a collegiate level,” said Ryan. “Midland is recognizing the amount of time, skill, and hard work it takes to be a competitive dancer, something that attracted me to the university as a coach.  I am excited to see where this program will be within the next few years."

Midland University is one of just three Nebraska institutions to offer competitive collegiate dance. For more on Midland Dance, click here.