3-Peat: Dance team captures third-straight championship in The Den


Ariel Landry

Biology sophomore Lauren King performs at the conference championship.

Vanessa Alvarado

The Loyola competitive dance team brought championship-caliber fierceness and intensity for the third year in a row, winning the title in front of the home crowd.

The dance team scored 86.32 to win the Southern States Athletic Conference title for a third straight year with four dancers making the All-Conference-Team and Head Coach Ricky Hill and Assistant Coach Tiffany Willis winning Coach of the Year.

With only one senior on the team, most athletes have had a taste at a title before, especially captain music industry studies junior Beth Cohen.

Ariel Landry
The 2019 competitive dance team performs their dance routine at The Den for the Southern States Athletic Conference on Feb. 2, 2019. The team won their third-consecutive conference title in front of the home team.

“I feel honored that I was able to be on the team during each one of our championship wins,” Cohen said. “We take our title very seriously and work hard each year to defend it.”

Her team rose to the occasion to capture the conference win, two dual meet victories and first place at the Wolf Pack Invitational this past weekend.

“The freshmen really stepped up to train hard to do well in competition,” she said. “The veterans did an excellent job in setting an example for the new members.”

Cohen joined biology sophomore Lauren King, biology freshman Ana Maristany and psychology sophomore Sofia Rabassa were selected to the All-Conference team, feat that is credited to a new addition to the dance program.

Rabassa said, “This was our best season as a team. Our new coach, Tiffany Willis, was the one who brought us all close together but she also made us into stronger dancers.”

Despite this being her first year at Loyola, Willis has learned to develop the dancers to be at the top of their conference.

“I’ve learned a lot of diversity because these girls come from all over,” Willis said. “I really learned how to mold and get them to be a unit. They’re beautiful and talented but they’re even better as a unit.”

The unit mentality is what brought the team accolades this year and King sees it and honor to be a part of such success throughout the past three years.

Ariel Landry
Loyola’s dance team strikes a pose during their routine during the conference championship.

“Winning was very rewarding,” King said. “Being a veteran on the team, it is really important to see the growth on the team from last year to this year really makes our practices worth it. Overall, the win is a great boost of encouragement. It definitely signifies the hard work that the team has put in to make it this far and it further encourages us to continue to improve in hopes to reach the top.”

Maristany also sees the value in succeeding so early on in her Loyola career.

“Winning the conference championship made me feel so proud of myself and my teammates,” Maristany said. “It was an amazing experience and an honor to be chosen for the All-Conference team.”

With the regional meet now on the horizon, the dance team is looing to gear up for another top-place finish and hopes the school will support them on their journey.

“I think people are becoming aware of our team and what we bring to campus,” Cohen said. “I hope that students continue to show their work and attend our performances.”

The dance team will travel to Fremont, Nebraska for the regional championships on Feb. 22.