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Dance Team Brings Home New Hardware from NDA 2024

The Ramapo College Dance Team placed second nationally in hip-hop at the 2024 National Dance Alliance Championship in Daytona, FL

by Victoria Vuz  ‘24

Ramapo Athletics needs to make some room in the trophy cabinet again. Passion for the sport, team camaraderie, and dedicated coaches remain a winning combination.  The Ramapo College Dance Team commanded the stage with precision and passion, leaving an indelible mark on the competition. Their dynamic hip-hop routine, riddled with high-level skill moves and choreography, garnered an impressive second place win in the Hip-Hop category at NDA in Daytona, FL. The team also secured a fourth place victory in the Team Performance category, full of seamless transitions and infectious energy that captivated both judges and spectators at NDA.

“This year, both categories were harder and stronger. Going into nationals, we knew that we had to have clean and great performances, or the outcome was not going to be the one that we wanted! We danced and did our hip-hop routine the absolute best we ever did,” remarked Captain Gianna Dlorio ‘24. “We also got the highest score we have ever gotten in our program in the hip-hop category, so that was amazing as well!” 

RCNJ Dance Team captains

Throughout the competition, the dance team wowed audiences with their precision, creativity, and electrifying routines. Under the guidance of their esteemed captains, Gianna Dlorio, Demi Rooyakkers, Anja Rundlett, and Tacy Andrews, the team honed their skills and pushed boundaries, setting the stage for an unforgettable journey to the championship and topping their scores from last year’s nationals.

“Every year, we fight to place amongst many large and talented teams. With only eight dancers in this routine, we wanted to show that we are “Warriors” in every single way, which themed this performance,” noted Coches Valentina DeSantis and Angela Mazariegos. “We wanted to show our strength not only as dancers but as competitors. We may be a small team, but we sure are mighty!” 

From intricate choreography to seamless synchronization, the team’s dedication to perfection was evident in every move they executed. Their passion for dance shone through as they brought their routines to life with unparalleled energy and enthusiasm, leaving an indelible mark on the competition.

“Our choreographer pushed boundaries with our team, giving them something out of their comfort zone, and they rose to the occasion, delivering a stylized hip-hop piece that left them working hard and inspired them to be better all season.”

For eight months of the year, the dance team immersed themselves in an intensive training schedule, meeting four days a week to refine their craft. Under the guidance of their dedicated coaches and captains, the dancers pushed their limits, striving for excellence with every choreographed sequence.

The RCNJ Dance Team in their practice gear with a message for all dancers: Yes, the work is worth it.

“It is a lot being on an athletic team whose season is from August-April,” asserted Gianna Dlorio ‘24. “I feel like sometimes we don’t get the appreciation we deserve, and that can sometimes be unmotivating, but we have to push past that! We have to show everyone why we should be appreciated.”

The journey to nationals was not merely a pursuit of victory but a test of resilience and perseverance for the members of the Ramapo College Dance Team. Balancing demanding academic schedules with grueling practice sessions, they showcased unwavering determination and passion throughout their pursuit of greatness.

The RCNJ Dance Team placed fourth in the Team Performance category

However, as the Dance Team celebrates its accomplishments in the competition, this victory is bittersweet, as the team bids farewell to six of its talented seniors who are graduating this spring. Members Gianna Dlorio, Demi Rooyakkers, Anja Rundlett, Emma Schneider, Sofia Barreira, and Tacy Andrews’s departures leave a void within the team. Still, their legacy of excellence will serve as a guiding light for future generations of dancers.

“These girls work incredibly hard, making it a joy to coach the Ramapo College Dance Team. Every adversity given, we have watched them come out on top”, commented Valentina DeSantis and Angela Mazariegos. “We are going to miss the relationships we’ve formed with these six graduating seniors, but are eager to continue what we’ve poured so much into with our returning members!” 

As they bask in the glory of their achievements, the Ramapo College dance team serves as an inspiration to aspiring dancers everywhere, reminding us all that with passion, perseverance, and teamwork, anything is possible. Their triumph not only cements their place in the competition but also reinforces the spirit of unity and excellence that defines the Ramapo College community. 

Congratulations to the Ramapo College dance team on their sensational season wins, which is a testament to their talent, dedication, and unyielding spirit. As they celebrate this momentous achievement, their legacy as champions will undoubtedly endure for years to come.

For more information, follow @ramapocollegedanceteam on Instagram for all audition and event information.