UNO Dance Team finishes amongst best in nation at UDA College Nationals


Jack Hoover 

Members of the UNO dance team with their trophies. Photo courtesy of Mo Marmesh.

The UNO Dance team started off the 2019-2020 school year in strong fashion, competing at a preseason dance camp back in August.

At the camp, which was attended by some of the top collegiate dance teams across the country, the Mavericks danced their way to taking home an award in the Division 1 Home routine competition. The team topped all competitors with a first place ranking and a superior rating.

It seems that the win back in August merely set the tone for the success that has followed the UNO Dance team this season.

From Jan. 17 to 19, the Mavericks once again headed off to compete in another national competition. This time around, the dance team was facing off in the Universal Dance Association College Nationals in Orlando, Florida.

While in Orlando, the UNO Dance team competed in two competitions, Jazz and Pom. At the end of three days of competition, it was announced that UNO finished third overall in the Division 1 Pom competition and fifth in the Division 1 Jazz competition. While both finishes were meaningful for the Mavericks, team coach Mo Marmesh thought the Jazz performance stood out in particular, as it was the last time she’d be able to coach some of dancers at competition.

“Two of the dancers started as freshmen with me my first year coaching at UNO,” Marmesh said. “When they both decided to do a fifth year, the whole team was ecstatic, including me.  To see them out there competing for the last time, and to watch the rest of the team push themselves to make sure they honored everything those girls have done for this program by sending them off with an incredible performance left me in tears.”

The work that the dance team and Marmesh have put in over the years seems to be paying off. If the results from nationals are any indication, it seems that the team is trending upward and is on their way to being one of the best dance teams in the nation. Both results were improvements over last season, where the team finished in eighth and ninth overall in Jazz and Pom.

One of the reasons that the team has had this success and was even able to make it to Orlando in the first place is the support the community gives to the team.

“We absolutely would not have made it to Orlando without community support,” Marmesh said. “We host a dance competition in December that helps with a portion of those costs and received over 50 sponsorships from local businesses and families to support that event and our team. It was incredible.”

With nationals now behind them, the UNO Dance Team will not get a break just yet. Looking ahead toward the rest of the year, the team will be preparing routines for performances at home basketball games and, later on, the men’s and women’s basketball Summit League tournaments. In addition, work will soon begin on preparation for next years’ national competition, where the Mavericks will aim for an even higher finish than they achieved this year.