Washburn Dancing Blues win national championship

Three-time champs: The Washburn Dancing Blues celebrate victory. The dance team won first place in the open category and runner up in the hip-hop category of the American Dance and Drill Team Collegiate National Championship.

Yash Chitrakar

Angie Price, coach of the Washburn University Dancing Blues, holds the philosophy that a dancer should always aim to give the performance of a lifetime.

This approach led the Washburn University Dancing Blues to win the American Dance and Drill Team Collegiate National for the third time Mar. 25.

“Dance should be entertaining,” Angie Price said. “It should be precise and the dancers must have perfect coordination.”

The Dancing Blues are a dance group who perform dance styles like pom, jazz, hip-hop and contemporary. Their primary mission is to serve the university and the community.

They have performed in six football and 23 basketball games in the past year. Apart from games, they busy themselves with other events that include Traditions Night, Homecoming and more.

They also do charitable work, such as encouraging runners in the Heart Walk, an event that raises funds to save people from heart disease and stroke.

They give children opportunities to dance through various programs, while raising donations for organizations like the Capper Foundation, an organization that helps children with disabilities.

The Dancing Blues started preparing for the competition in the summer of 2016, with a dance routine by Josie Price Dease, choreographer. The Dancing Blues practiced for more than 200 hours for the competition.

“The rigor of the practices was such that each member had to know the dance by heart,” Angie Price said. “So, if I woke someone up at two in the morning, she had to be able and ready to perform the dance. “

The group competed in two categories, the hip-hop category and the open category, in the coliseum-like hall of University of North Texas.

Abby Price, sophomore sociology major and daughter of Angie Price, remembers feeling dispirited when the judges announced that the Dancing Blues got the first runner-up position in the hip-hop category.

“I felt that we had done better in the hip-hop category than the open category,” Abby Price said.

This feeling quickly dissolved when they learned of their win in the open category.

“There were tears, happy tears,” Abby Price said.

Her mother spoke of the solidarity that pervaded through the team and the passion the team had for dancing.

“It’s nice to win, but it’s nicer when you love what you do,” Angie Price said.