Feb. 3, 2010
By Donnell Field
Lake Buena Vista, Fla. - By the narrowest of margins Minnesota escaped with the coveted 2010 Universal Dance Association national title. In one of the closest competitions in memory Tennessee's dance team lost their bid to captured a fourth national crown by 1.5 points.
Had Tennessee captured the crown it not only would have been their fourth in a row, but it would also have tied Minnesota with the most consecutive titles as well. With the second place finish Tennessee set a mark that no other school has accomplished in competition having won three straight national titles and two second-place finishes, all in the last five years.
Tennessee had completed the semi-final round with flying colors as both Tennessee and Minnesota were well out in front of other squads. The third place team was more than 40 points back heading into the finals on Sunday. The semi-final round scores did not carry over to the final round of competition, but it showed the gap between the top two teams and the rest of the field. That gap between Tennessee and Minnesota narrowed considerably between Saturday and Sunday. But in the end, the narrow gap pointed in Minnesota's favor. It was still a great performance and a great effort to capture a fourth straight title.
Tennessee's other spirit squads, cheer leading and Smokey, also competed in their respective portions of the national championships. Smokey as reported on Saturday finished 7th in the Mascot division on Friday night as Colorado's mascot Chip the buffalo, won his second straight title. In cheerleading the Volunteers finished 16th while their fellow SEC rival, Kentucky, came out on top once again.
Tennessee Spirit Coordinator Joy Postell-Gee although disappointed in the outcomes was very pleased by the squads' continual effort to represent the University of Tennessee at nationals.
"Although we were overall disappointed with our placements, I am not at all disappointed with our continued efforts to represents the University of Tennessee with great character and exemplary sportsmanship. We still continue to be one of just a few universities in the entire nation to earn the honor to compete in all three realms of competition (cheer, dance and mascot) and continue to display top level talent in each of the areas."
If interested in becoming a member of the University of Tennessee spirit program information can be found on the UT web page under the fan portion of the page or you can contact the UT Spirit Office at (865) 974-4664.