Lionettes Dance Team wins first national championship
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - The Penn State Lionettes dance team won its first ever NDA Collegiate Dance Championship on Friday (April 13) in Daytona Beach, Fla. Fourteen Division I-A teams made up the championship field.
Penn State was strong throughout the competition, holding first place following the opening day after it recorded a first-round score of 9.765. Penn State’s score of 9.777 on day two edged out the eight teams remaining to secure the victory. Brigham Young finished in second place with a 9.763 and the third-place Louisville Ladybirds posted a 9.681.
Led by captains Jenna Dolce, Natalie Sarver and Melissa Diehl and Nationals Coordinator Nicole Symeonides, the Lionettes had 17 dancers and two alternates of the 26-person squad make the trip to Daytona Beach. The Lionettes competed under the advisement of Sue Sherburne, assistant director at the Morgan Academic Center and academic counselor for the men’s and women’s basketball teams. The Lionettes routine was composed by choreographer Laura King.
"I am so proud of the girls," Sherburne said. "They worked hard and fought to win. It was an honor to represent Penn State on a national stage. The support from our administrators and Penn Staters everywhere has been incredible. We are especially thankful to all Lionette alumni who have given so much and have helped paved the way."
Penn State collected its first title, after the Lionettes had made a run at the championship in recent years, finishing fourth in 2009, third in 2010 and fourth in 2011.