Texas A&M University-San Antonio Dance team will leave April 4 to Orlando, Florida to compete in the College Classic, a competition where university programs across the nation show off their skills and routines in different aspects of dance.
This will be the first time the team will attend the competition in person. Because of COVID in the spring 2022, the team performed over Zoom where they won second place in the “spirit showdown” category.
In an interview on March 27, head coach Courtney Bobb-Meilinger discussed the steps they have taken to prepare the team and their aspirations in Orlando.
“This is the first time that we’re going to be competitive on a face-to-face level,” Bobb-Meilinger said. “And also making sure when we’re building this idea of our legacy, that we’re actually living up to the expectations of the dance world.”
They will compete in three categories: pom, spirit showdown and mascot.
To prepare for the competition, Bobb-Meilinger had the team practicing up to five days a week as early as 6 a.m. As the contest drew nearer, Bobb-Meilinger would add an extra day of practice.
Bobb-Meilinger took inspiration in being from a young institution. She saw the value in potentially surprising the competition.
“We have the opportunity to put our name out there and say this is what we’ve got,” Bobb-Meilinger said. “If you don’t believe we have it, just wait and see.”
Because of COVID, most of the girls on the team haven’t had the chance to compete at any level.
“It’s really exciting for them, especially if they lost some of their dance years in high school,” Bobb-Meilinger said. “Same for those veterans … they finally get to do it their senior year.”
In terms of having the mental focus, Bobb-Meilinger said it coincides with having the body conditioned to perform these set routines numerous times in a day.
“Does your skillset live up to that mental fortitude?” Bobb-Meilinger said. “Your body needs to be able to deliver, every single time.”
The team will return — hoping to bring home some hardware — on April 11 but for Bobb-Meilinger, the broader idea is to bring back a renewed sense of school spirit.
“The school spirit is alive and well,” she said. “You just have to find the opportunities to put yourself in those situations to become a part of school spirit.”