A new and historic challenge: dancing on behalf of the University and the entire Treasure State at a national championship competition.

That is the task at hand for the University of Montana Dance Team and Monte the Mascot. UM News Service tells us that for the first time in program history, in school history and in the history of the entire state of Montana, a college team is going to represent Montana at the national level!

The Dance Team, along with their coach, spirit squad director, Monte and some pretty proud and excited moms, will travel to Orlando, Florida, for the College Classic National Championship April 10-15. Coach Alli Baumgardner says, "the team's momentum is just exploding. This is such a huge step for our program."

University of Montana
Image courtesy of UM News Service, Coral Scoles-Coburn


The Griz Dance Team will compete against other schools from around the country in Jazz and Spirit categories. Want to see just how good they are? The team and Monte will showcase their competition routines for the public this Sunday, April 7, 8:00 p.m. in Dahlberg Arena in the Adams Center on the UM campus. Admission is free.

University of Montana
Image courtesy of UM News Service, Coral Scoles-Coburn


UM Spirit Squad Director Stacey Richards says the team has grown in talent and in numbers, now boasting 20 members. Raising the $2,000 needed for each dancer to go to Orlando was the first step. The team met that goal through donations and fundraising events, including running dance clinics for high school dancers during winter break.

And of course, prepping for a national stage requires more than the already-grueling normal rehearsal schedule. Additional hours were needed to learn a new routine while maintaining the regular practice and performance duties, and naturally all their responsibilities as students.

Here's to the UM Dance Team and Monte! Congratulations and bring home the gold!

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