University dance team ranked fifth in the nation

Raiza Beltran

With miniature pompoms flying and 30 synchronized feet dancing, the University Dance Team shouts out to the crowd, rousing fans for another routine.
“We believe in pride for ourselves, pride for our team and pride for the U of M,” said Kelly Clement, a four-year veteran of the team and marketing senior.
The team’s spirit was recognized on Monday when the Universal Dance Association ranked the University fifth in the nation among college and university dance teams.
The high ranking is not new. The team has been rated among the top 10 college dance teams for the past five years.
The University dance team sent a dance-routine videotape to the dance association for consideration in the competition. Thirty-one teams were invited to participate in the dance contest.
“This is something we have wanted for a long time … we can only go up from here,” said Casey Clement, a four-year team veteran and marketing senior.
As one of the top five college dance teams, the University doesn’t need to compete in preliminary and semi-final rounds.
They will only compete with other finalists. Team trip and hotel accommodations will be paid for by the dance association.
The Clement twins said the team demands dedication from members. Dancers practice three days a week for three hours.
Besides attending men’s basketball and football games, dancers must attend conditioning classes and maintain a certain GPA.
“They have worked so hard,” said Beth Knutson, spirit squad coordinator and dance team coach. “They deserve all the credit and more.”
The dance team will compete in the College Dance Team National Championship in January.

Raiza Beltran welcomes comments at [email protected] She can also be reached at (612) 627-4070 x3221.