The University of St. Thomas Dance Team enters the 2010 National College Dance Team Championships in first place, having won the preliminary qualification round of competition consisting a videotaped routine.

All teams must submit a videotaped routine to qualify. The routines are judged, and teams are pre-ranked by division. The qualifying teams compete at the national championships Jan. 14-18 at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla.

“The videotape is a crucial part of the competition because it not only earns a bid to the championships but also because the top two teams in our division receive full monetary support to attend. This paid-in-full bid means that airfare and accommodations are paid for the team – a huge incentive to do well in the video round,” coach Alysia Ulfers said.

“Although it definitely feels good to be ranked in first place right now, we certainly are aware that the actual competition can bring different results. Every team has another two and a half months to prepare, so a lot of things can change from now to then,” she added. “We are very excited about our routines. We plan to compete in both jazz and hip hop categories – and look forward to representing UST at the national level.”

The division usually has 30 to 35 teams competing at the national level. Rounding out the top five teams in the divsion are  Orange Coast College (Costa Mesa, Calif.), College of New Jersey, Lindenwood University (Missouri), and Avila University (Missouri). Ranked teams from Minnesota: College of St. Benedict, 8; St. Cloud State University, 10; Concordia, 14; and Minnesota State University Moorhead 17.