UVU brings home first- and second-place awards from national cheer and dance championship

Teams from Utah Valley University walked away as national champions after competing with more than 400 teams at the 2023 NCA & NDA Collegiate Cheer and Dance Championship in Daytona Beach, Florida from April 5-8.

UVU’s Spirit Squad, which includes the cheer and dance teams and the Green Man Group, placed first in the Division 1A Game Day category. The dance team placed first in the Division 1 Hip Hop category and second in the Division 1 Jazz category. The cheer team placed second in the Advanced All-Girl Division 1 category.

“Our UVU Spirit Squad represented UVU with incredible talent, inspiring routines, and tremendous class at the national competition in Florida,” said Kati Marsing, UVU Spirit Squad manager. “Our teams have been working incredibly hard over the past six months to prepare for this level of competition. Their hard work was honored with the awards they received.”

The UVU teams competed in four divisions with the following results:   

Game Day, Division IA

  1. Utah Valley University
  2. University of Michigan
  3. Bryant University

Dance: Jazz, Division 1

  1. Sam Houston State University
  2. Utah Valley University
  3. Weber State University

Dance, Hip Hop, Division 1

  1. Utah Valley University
  2. Elon University
  3. Weber State University

Cheer, Advanced All-Girl, Division 1

  1. University of New Hampshire
  2. Utah Valley University
  3. Kennesaw State University

“This year, UVU’s cheer team went to Daytona Beach, Florida, and made history,” said Ryley Williams, a member of the UVU cheer team. “We came back with the highest score UVU has ever scored and placed second in the D1 Advanced All-Girl Division by two-tenths of a point. We had the fifth-highest score in the entire competition and made a name for ourselves. I am super proud of our valley girls for putting out two amazing routines.”

The UVU Spirit Squad is unique in that it is part of the UVU Department of Student Leadership and Involvement. The focus is on not only helping students develop performance skills but in helping them develop leadership skills to be strong contributing members of their communities.

The UVU coaches include Kati Marsing, Spirit Squad manager; Trista Tempest, Spirit Squad assistant coordinator; Emily Vowles, cheer coach; Jamie Crowther, dance coach; Kenton Nielson, drumline coach; and Lizzy Rosenberg, game day coach.