The University of Indianapolis dance team won its second championship in a row at the Dance Team Union’s College Classic National Championship, according to UIndy Athletics. They placed first in the DII Pom category but came in second in the DII Team Performance category by 0.86 points, according to UIndy Athletics. The win came after a long season, spanning from July to April. The routine that the team competed with holds sentimental value for the team; it was performed in honor of a 2020 alumna of the team who suffered from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, according to UIndy Athletics. The team used neon green poms to represent lymphoma awareness during their winning routine.
Head Coach Carlee Bachek led the team this season and said that the two victories have contributed to a culture of success on the team.
“Everyone was bought into the story behind the routine and the reason why we were doing it,” Bachek said. “And I think that made it kind of extra special for us and put a little more fight into it, because we really wanted to bring home that first place for her.”
Sophomore dancer Andi Parks said that the dance team starts off a new season with a dance camp where all the girls bond, some of those girls entering their first year on the team, where they learn their routines for the season.
“[Dance camp is] a really good experience for all of us, really good for the freshmen to really get to know the upperclassmen and [have] all of us bond.” Parks said.
This season, in particular, proved challenging for the team, according to Bachek, due to the team experiencing their first year being a part of club sports full time. Additionally, there was a large number of rookies joining the team this season.
“That kind of brought a different set of stressors,” Bachek said. “For me, there was definitely benefits to that. But something new is always a little bit more challenging. And you want to make sure that you’re doing everything you can to represent our team well on campus…. This year has been just a lot of hard work. I feel like the girls really bought into working really hard and trying to push ourselves to see what we were capable of doing. And that has been really fun to watch.”
Parks said the team’s successes last year created a strong bond between existing members of the team and that about half of the team this season consisted of rookies.
“We all found a way to bond…,” Parks said. “We were so hungry, that everybody who was on the team prior was so hungry for that win, that it made all the new people on the team hungry for that win [too]. We wanted them to experience and understand how it feels to win that national championship.”
Bachek mentioned that her favorite part about coaching the team is seeing the dancers grow as the seasons come and go. Parks said her favorite part of the team are the girls on the team and the close bonds they share.
“… Going into college, it’s a very scary thing,” Parks said. “And you’re like, ‘oh my gosh, am I gonna make friends.’ And [the team members] already all have that bond of loving dance. And so it’s very easy for all of us to bond and we’re with each other so much that I feel like it’s just such a good little sisterhood bond.”