ORLANDO, Fla. -- The Missouri State University Cheer Squad and Sugar Bears dance team are both nationally ranked among Division 1 squads and are competing for national honors in their respective categories at the 2011 College Cheerleading and Dance Team National Championship here, January 14-16.
The national rankings for both teams qualified them to earn an automatic berth and partially-paid trip to the national event, which is held at Disney's Wide World of Sports and Disney Hollywood Studios.
On Friday (Jan. 14), Faith Lorhan and Boston Alverson competed in the Partner Stunt competition. The standout pair went into nationals ranked No. 2 in the country in that division.
Saturday, the Sugar Bears will compete in the Division 1 Dance semifinals, starting at 9 a.m., followed by a 3 p.m. semifinal performance in the Division 1 Hip Hop category. The Sugar Bears are currently ranked No. 1 in the nation in Division 1 dance by Universal Dance Association. Finals for Division 1 Hip Hop are Saturday evening, and finals for Division 1 Dance are Sunday afternoon.
Saturday evening, the MSU Cheerleaders, currently ranked No. 5 in the Division 1 cheer competition by Universal Cheer Association, compete at the HP Fieldhouse.
"We are excited about taking our teams to the UCA/UDA National Championships," said Susan Brown, Missouri State's director of spirit groups and coach for the Sugar Bears. "Every year, the competition gets stronger, and the event gains more national attention, so we hope to represent Missouri State well on the national level."
Video footage of the competition can be seen on www.varsity.com. The top teams from nationals will be featured in the nationally-televised event highlight show which will air on ESPN later this spring.
The prestigious competition, which showcases the country's best college cheerleaders, dance team performers and mascots, is marking its 27th year.
In 2010, the Sugar Bears finished fifth in Division 1 Hip-Hop category and 11th in Division 1 Jazz, while the Cheerleaders were third in the Division I Co-Ed Cheer competition.