The University of Louisiana’s spirit squads recently traveled to Orlando, FL on the weekend of Jan. 15 to compete at UDA/UCA Nationals against hundreds of collegiate teams from all over the country.

UL’s Ragin’ Jazz dance team were nationally ranked 10th in the Division 1A Hip Hop and 12th in the Division 1A Jazz in the final round of competition.

“The dance team did great. We were all proud, and everyone was real excited,” said the coach of the team and advisor of both spirit squads, Michelle Bernard.

The Ragin’ Cajun Cheerleaders performed in the small Coed division 1 category at UDA/UCA Nationals for the first time since 2003. There were hundreds of cheer squads from all over the United States, and UL’s squad almost made it to the top ten teams nation-wide in their category.

“Our cheerleaders did a great job at Nationals. We had four guys and 12 girls on the squad, some of which came back from recent years to compete,” said Bernard.

UDA/UCA stands for Universal Dance Association, and Universal Cheerleaders Association. These associations organize a national competition every year in Disney World in the month of January. “This was my first time going to Nationals, so it was kind of overwhelming. However, with the support of my teammates it made the trip a fun learning experience,” said Ragin’ Jazz dancer Emily Nix.

Practices for UL’s dance team and cheer squad were intense. During the winter break, they practiced five days a week for three hours per day.

“All of hard work and long practices really paid off! After our performance, we knew that we had done our best,” exclaimed Nix.

Tryouts for next year are going to be held in April of 2009. The Ragin’ Cajun cheer tryouts will be on April 3rd and 4th, and the Ragin’ Jazz dance tryouts will be April 24th and 25th. For more information about tryouts, visit the Student Union website.

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Finals Results
1. University of Tennessee
2. Florida State University
3. University of Minnesota
4. University of Cincinnati
5. University of Wisconsin – Madison
6. University of Michigan
7. Louisiana State University & University of Kentucky
8. Michigan State University
9. University of Central Florida
10. University of Memphis
11. University of Kansas
12. University of Louisiana
13. University of Oklahoma
14. University of Arizona
15. Rutgers University
16. University of Alabama
17. University of Mississippi

Final Results
1. University of Cincinnati
2. Louisiana State University
3. University of Memphis
4. University of Wisconsin - Madison
5. Florida State University
6. University of Tennessee
7. University of Minnesota
8. Washington State University
9. University of Kansas
10. University of Louisiana
11. University of Michigan
12. University of Central Florida
13. University of Mississippi
14. Michigan State University
15. East Carolina University