Collegiate Dance Teams

Dancing on a Collegiate Dance Team is both challenging and rewarding. The college dance team experience is unlike dancing at the high school level in so many ways. Members of Collegiate Dance Teams are highly trained and skilled athletes – seriously dedicated athletes. For dancers who wish to continue dancing after high school, it is important to focus on training early and consistently.

The recruitment process for a college dance team can be intimidating. Some college dance teams will have over 200 dancers trying out to make the team. Many dancers with talent won’t dance in college because there are so many dancers that want to. To be offered a spot on a collegiate dance team, you will be asked to show specific turns, leaps, and jumps. Versatility and showmanship are key skills that every dance team member must possess.


Now is the time to take those dance classes that stretch your abilities. Focus on learning the styles that will best help you in your tryouts. While Jazz enables you to boost your precision and showmanship, Ballet helps you with technique, balance and poise. Most teams also require proficiency in Hip Hop and Acrobatics. Honing your skills now is your best bet for making it to the dance team of your dreams later.

College dance teams can also differ from one another based on what type of team they are. The two main types of college dance teams are performance teams and competitive teams. Instead of competing at the national or regional level, performance teams dance at games and attend public relations events for the university. These teams are often classified as clubs, but you still must audition or get recruited to be part of that college dance team.

Competitive teams dance at sporting events too, but they also compete at the regional and national levels. Most college dance teams that are competitive compete at either the NDA Nationals or the UDA nationals. Regardless of the type of team, the challenge of getting on a college dance team is totally worthwhile.

“We’re looking for exquisite dancers who blend well together in the style of the Cougarettes,” Maxfield says. “We want people with incredible stage presence who are entertaining to watch. And our fans obviously love seeing turns and hip-hop tricks.”

Jodi Maxfield


This team is known for its impressive, highly technical turn sequences — something coach Bianca Caryl says can only happen with a team stacked with talent. “Many teams have several outstanding dancers who are featured and lead their group in technique and style,” Caryl says. “But each and every one of our dancers is well-trained.”  Caryl is looking for dancers who can keep up with the team’s intense turn combinations: Dancers must be able to do five consistent, clean pirouettes, plus a side aerial. “But first and foremost, they must be strong entertainers,” Caryl says. “We’re looking for outstanding stage presence and ‘game-day poise.’ Anyone can be a robotic dancer who does the right tricks, turns, and choreography—but we’re looking for that wow factor.”

Bianca Caryl

Sun Devils

 “We look for dancers with a strong technical foundation and versatility in their style and performance,” says coach Julie Berardi. Lionette hopefuls also do a personal interview, which Berardi says is one of the most important components of the audition process.

Julie Berardi


If you're interested in pursuing dance at the collegiate level, we encourage you to reach out to us. We can help you create a plan that will help you achieve your goal.