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Cougarettes sweep division at Chick-Fil-A National Cheer, Dance Team Championships

Held in Daytona Beach April 8

The Cougarettes, Brigham Young University's precision dance team, swept the 2005 Chick-Fil-A National Cheer and Dance Team Championships in Daytona Beach, Fla., on Friday, April 8, winning first place, grand championship and best choreography honors in their division.

Some 250 cheer and dance teams competed in the event, with the BYU squad going up against 25 teams in their division, all of which had to qualify for the championships, according to Cougarettes artistic director Jodi Maxfield.

"We beat out three-time defending champions the University of Louisville soundly, with the highest score of the day, a 9.55 compared to Louisville's 9.40," said Maxfield.

The competition will air on CBS (locally KUTV-2) on Saturday, April 23, at noon.

The Cougarettes warmed up for the Daytona competition in February, winning their fourth USA National College Dance Team championship.

The much-larger Chick-Fil-A competition has stiffer requirements than the USA Nationals, and the team had to create a new routine combining 30-second segments of hip-hop, jazz and tom dance (cheer dance) styles. The new routine, "Silent Dolls," was based on two other Cougarette dance routines.

"It's been an incredible experience, and we have really made an impact here," said Maxfield. "We are recognized as setting the standard for elite collegiate dance teams."

"I'm really, really proud of our team," said Maxfield, who is confident the team can continue its winning ways.

"We had tryouts last Saturday and auditioned some really amazing dancers," she said. More than 100 hopeful applicants audition each year. Interested dancers come from across the country to try for a spot on the team of 16 dancers.

Members of the Cougarettes are fluid in jazz, funk, lyrical, character, high kick and military styles. Dancers are required to have knowledge and practical abilities in ballet, modern and jazz technique.

Writer: Cecelia Fielding

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