GCU Dance team inspires at national competition

January 18, 2022 / by / 0 Comment

The GCU Dance team competes in the Game Day category of the national competition in Orlando, Florida.

By Mike Kilen
GCU News Bureau

The Grand Canyon University Dance team showed its heart with a stirring performance to win third place in the Division I Jazz category of the 2022 Universal Dance Association College Dance Team National Championship over the weekend at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.

The team was fourth in the Game Day category after winning it last year.

The Jazz competition required the team to dig deep.

“Preparing for our performance this year required the dancers to get vulnerable with one another and share where in their life they ask for God to hold onto them,” said Dance coach Jacque Genung-Koch. “It made for real and raw emotion on stage that set us apart from all other performances on the floor.”

The GCU Dance team won third place in the Jazz category.

GCU received a program-high score of 94.37 to bring home the bronze. Cal State Fullerton won the event with a 94.82.

“I feel like our choreographer, Katie Devine, gave us a routine that spoke to our team’s heart and provided us a huge opportunity to share our faith on a national platform,” Genung-Koch said. “We got to dance about and for Jesus, as a team, in front of the nation. There is nothing greater than that.”

Genung-Koch said the fourth-place finish in the Game Day competition was keyed by adjustments during the competition.

“The difference in the team’s performance from semifinals to finals was huge to me. They showed up even bigger and brighter and really fought to include the corrections the judges asked to see,” she said. “The team truly demonstrated on the nationals stage what a fun and energetic atmosphere we have at GCU games back at home.”

After graduating a large senior class of dancers from last year’s team, Genung-Koch knew it would be a challenge with 19 rookies.

“The way that our returning members and rookies have stepped up this year has been inspiring,” she said. “The talent and hard-working drive these 34 athletes bring to the team has made this one of the most fun years of coaching for me.”

Grand Canyon University senior writer Mike Kilen can be reached at [email protected] or at 602-639-6764.

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