Dancing Blues win at Nationals

Allie Broockerd

The pride of winning a national competition is not a new feeling to Washburn’s Dancing Blues.

This year, preceded by three previous years of winning the American Dance and Drill Team Collegiate National, the team has once again brought home a winning title.

The group competed in two categories: contemporary and hip-hop. Although the group brought home a win, it did not come without struggle. The team is responsible for coming up with the money to go to nationals, so they do not get to go every year. The group exceeded the amount they needed to make the trip to Texas with support from donors and fundraising.

“The preparation for nationals has been very stressful this year, just because we weren’t sure if we were going to be able to go if enough money was not raised, and some girls were not able to go to nationals,” Hayden Schlochtermeier, junior communications major, said. “Between focusing on money and resetting our routines to fit a smaller team, we all were a little stressed out.”

The team ended up winning first in the hip-hop category. Schlochtermeier said they first competed with their contemporary routine at 3 p.m., followed by their hip-hop routine at 3:25 p.m. The quick turnaround between routines and the nerves of performing with only part of their group had the team on edge while waiting for their results.

“During awards I personally felt like I was going to throw up or cry, just because I was so nervous to hear the results.” Schlochtermeier said.

Angie Price, the Dancing Blues coach, has nothing but positive things to say about the work ethic of Washburn’s dance team.

“For the last several years I’ve had really hard-working teams, and this is probably one of the most hard-working teams I have ever had,” Price said. “They were just really pumped up about wanting to go to nationals again this year. We usually only go every other year because it’s very expensive. We use WSGA funding, but that doesn’t cover everything we need to pay for so we fundraise every year to raise enough money.”

Although the team has won in the past, this is the first time they have won a national title for the hip-hop category. In 2013, 2015 and 2017, they won in the open category.

“When I heard Washburn get called for National Champions in hip-hop, the team was overwhelmed with emotion, it was just a relief knowing that our hard work paid off,” Schloctermeir said. “It’s been an amazing experience being part of the Washburn Dancing Blues, and being on the team has allowed me to continue to do the thing that I love. Our coach, Angie Price, is so devoted to the team and pushes us to be our very best. It’s been an absolute blessing being apart of the team and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”