Laker Dance and Cheer teams claim national championships

Grand Valley’s Laker Dance and Cheer teams returned from the College Classic National Championship with a number of new national titles and accolades. 

The Laker Dance Team, led by head coaches Rael Orao and Katy Nyenbrink, brought home three national titles: DII Jazz Champions, DII Hip Hop Champions and Super Spirit Showdown Champions (a collaboration with the cheer team), as well as a battle cup for their win in the Hip Hop Battle.

The Cheer team, consisting of an all-women team and a co-ed team and led by coaches Brandy Skantze and Andy Brown, brought home several titles as well: Super Spirit Showdown Champions (a collaboration with the dance team), All Girl Cheer Division, Small Co-ed Cheer division and Pyramid Battle winners.

This was the cheer team’s first time competing at the College Classic. “We've been practicing since October, perfecting these routines,” noted Skantze, who is in her 20th season with the team. “We don't get to work with the dance team too often. Getting to partner with these amazing athletes was so much fun for everybody.”

The Laker Dance Team also began practicing their performances in the fall, perfecting each movement until they took the stage in Orlando the week of April 10. “The weeks leading up to nationals, we’re practicing six or seven nights a week,” said sophomore captain, Annie Gates. “It's running the dances over and over again and getting really nitpicky, down to our fingertips and where they're placed and that kind of stuff.”

See some of the performances that made their hard work worthwhile here: 

GVSU Super Spirit Showcase performance

Video courtesy of Rael Orao


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