DURHAM, N.C. - The Duke Dancing Devils earned a fifth-place finish at the National Collegiate Cheer and Dance Championship hosted by the National Dance Alliance on April 8 and 9 in Daytona Beach, Fla. After earning top-ten finishes in each of the last two years, the Dancing Devils took fifth out of 230 teams at the 2010 competition.
The top-five finish also ensures that the Dancing Devils' performance at the competition will appear on national television. The broadcast of this year's National Collegiate Cheer and Dance Championship will be aired on April 24 and 25 on Fox Sports Network.
"It was incredibly exciting to have the team climb the ladder so quickly in the last three years," said coach Alayne Rusnak. "To go from eighth to sixth to fifth and know that the team made the cut to be on TV - that seals the deal. You know you've succeeded."
Dance and cheerleading squads from around the country aspire each year to earn a spot at the National Dance Alliance and the National Cheerleaders Association's annual competitions. In order to advance to the final competition in Daytona Beach, squads must pre-qualify by competing at camps or via video submissions. The Dancing Devils qualified for the 2010 Nationals based on their video submission.
After the first day of competition on April 8, the Dancing Devils were in sixth place entering Friday's finals. The team's performance in the finals secured the fifth-place finish - as well as a spot on national television.
"The girls worked so hard, overcame several challenges this year and they couldn't be more excited about their performance at Nationals," Rusnak said. "It was truly rewarding to represent Duke at the NDA Championships after the men's basketball program came off of such a tremendous win the weekend before. We are so proud to be a part of the Duke family and I am so proud of the girls."
The Dancing Devils are the official dance team of Duke University. The squad performs at many Duke athletic events, including football and basketball games. Team members include Bria Barker, Devyn Coskey, Claire Daly, Jamie Forrest, Kat Franklin, Alexa Galan, Julene Latter, Danielle Reinhardt, Michelle Sawyer, Caroline Schwarzman, Amy Snook, Courtney Washington, Jenny Zhou and captains Katherine Booth, Chantel Hopper and Kim Thomas.