Preparation Is The Key To Success
To be successful, you got to have quality preparation. For the SHSU Orange Pride Dance Team, their preparation is at Bearkat sporting events.
The team have won back-to-back National Championships and will be going for their third at the National Dance Association (NDA) Collegiate Cheer and Dance Championship in Daytona Beach, Florida from April 11-15.
“It’s bigger than I can describe,” senior co-captain Hannah Shields said. “We have all of the talent and have been working very hard to be where we are.”
The team is part of the Spirit Programs under the Department of Student Activites that includes the All-Girl Cheer Squad, the Co-Ed Cheer Squad and Sammy The Bearkat Mascot program.
The team trains everyday in preparation for the football season, the basketball season, special events and for the NDA competion that is held every year in Daytona Beach.
They placed first in the NDA National Competition in 1998 and 2005. In 2008, the team came up short in the competition and it taught the team a very important lesson about hard work.
“We had a big wake up call and had to step up our game,” Shields said.
After the season, they hired Sarah Pritchard as their head coach. Under her leadership, the team improved on their technique and learned new dance routines that helped them win back-to-back national championships at the NDA competition in 2010 and 2011.
“They have a lot of pride in Sam Houston and the dance program,” Spirit Programs Coordinator Brian McColpin said. “They want to go out there and win for their coach.”
They know that the competition are aiming at prevent them from winning their third straight championship. But for the dance team, they are more determine to achieve their goals because of the coaching and the leadership that each person brings to the team.
“I want to leave here with three rings on my finger,” Shields said. “I chose not to get a senior ring because I want another national championship.”