“All in” for Nationals

The Apollonaires UDA National routines were choreographed by Carly Blaney and Jackie Poulis (Large Varsity Jazz) Dani Eustice (Large Varsity Pom) and Coach Sarah Hartman and Coach Tessa Schulte (Large Varsity Gameday)


Photo by @east_naires on Instagram

The Apollonaires getting ready for Game Day Finals at UDA Nationals in Orlando

Lincoln East’s dance team, the Apollonaires, made their third trip to Orlando Florida on February 1st for the UDA National Dance Competition. The girls have been preparing since before August for this competition that they cherish so much. After months of hard work and dedication, the Naires took not two, but three routines to the UDA stage to compete against hundreds of teams across the United States.

New to the Apollonaires this year was the “Game Day” division, which allows the teams to showcase their school spirit and pride with a school fight song, a sideline routine, and a short hip hop routine, all in one performance.

Junior Alex Puls says, “That (Game Day) was our best routine and we got 11th with that, which is super exciting for us because we had no idea what to expect going into it and so we were super proud… That was just super fun because we got to show off our school and it’s pretty much just like, be crazy and have fun. It was just really fun.”

Even though Game Day was their biggest success, the Naires also danced in Large Varsity Pom and Large Varsity Jazz where they competed in Friday preliminaries and then made it to semifinals with both routines.

The Apollonaires are undoubtedly a hardworking and dedicated group of ladies. They practiced and perfected their routines until they felt absolutely ready to go out on stage.

“We had to do our turns probably hundreds of times because ‘practice makes perfect,’” Puls said. “You don’t want to have to go out on that floor and question if something is going to hit. If you run it that many times, nine times out of ten if you hit something you’re probably going to hit it on stage.’

When they weren’t dancing, the dance team spent their time bonding with each other. They spent a day at Walt Disney World and hung out at Clearwater Beach, which was Alex Puls’s favorite and most memorable part. Also a new experience for the Naires this year was renting four houses for the parents and one house for the seniors so they could have “one last hoorah together,” said Puls.

The Naires have an unbreakable team bond, and nationals is definitely an annual event that they all look forward to, eager to spend time together in Florida. Puls says, “We know we have such a great trust with each other and such a great team bond where it’s like we don’t have to worry about what someone’s going to say because we know that everybody’s going to be supportive of each other because we just love each other so much.”

Great job at UDA Nationals, Apollonaires! You made East High proud!