Team: College of Charleston Cougarettes
Coach: Patrice Christian
Location: Charleston, SC
Style: Collegiate Dance Team, Hip Hop
College of Charleston Cougarettes' Fierce Nationals Routine
What's impressive about this feat is that many of their dancers have never been on a dance team before! "For many of our kids, their first year on our team is the first time they have ever experience the intensity, precision, and dedication it takes to be a nationally ranked program," said Cougarettes' Coach Patrice Christian.
Patrice told us their inspiration for this year was to come back stronger than ever as a team and push themselves beyond what they've done in the past. The results? A fierce, energetic hip hop routine and an incredibly strong team bond. "Our bond is so strong, and our journey was wonderful," she said. "We fought so hard and pushed past our limits but had the time of our lives doing it. I have never been so proud of a group of dancers for their drive, dedication, and love for the program. "
The team competed in an all-white hip hop outfit, symbolic of a new era for their program. The sharp style lines and use of their school colors added an athletic look. The claw mark accents on their jacket not only represent their school mascot but also their "hunger for success", which we loved!
We asked Michelle Danielson, Product Designer at The Line Up about the process of designing a costume for such an exciting routine. "Patrice had a pretty clear vision from the beginning. I did my best to bring it to life! The extended jacket/skirt piece was a first for me but it turned out cool and you really got the urban/hip hop feel from it."
Check out a video of their routine and learn more about the Cougarettes from Coach Patrice, below.
Q&A with Coach Patrice
What was your inspiration/concept and how was it incorporated into your costume, choreography and music?
Our inspiration for this year's routine was coming back stronger than ever. We really wanted to push the envelope in terms of what our team has done in the past. We constantly thought through each section of the routine, how we could highlight our dancers' strengths, and how we could bring the most exciting routine possible to the UDA College Nationals floor.
Our music has such exciting energy, interesting beats and fun musicality so we wanted a costume that would match that. We loved the idea of an all-white costume that incorporated our school colors while also having sharp details. We felt the white was symbolic of a new era for our program, the maroon details represented our pride in the College of Charleston, and the black claw marks represented our hunger for success. The Line Up brought this to life in ways we could not have imagined, and we fell completely in love with it!
What makes your team unique?
Our team is unique because we have dancers from so many parts of the country, and many that have never been on a dance team. For many of our kids, their first year on our team is the first time they ever experienced the intensity, precision and dedication it takes to be a nationally ranked program. We are so proud of how quickly our new dancers committed to the process and their complete trust in what is possible.
What does teamwork mean to you? How do you rally your team?
Teamwork is the very essence of what makes Collegiate dance teams successful. It means constant and complete dedication to your teammates, coaches and the program. It means building each other up through all of the tough/long practices, incredible performances and various life situations. Our word going into Nationals this year was the word "together". We have worked hard to build the trust that we have in each other, and we wanted to get through each milestone completely united. I rally my team by reminding them how incredible they are, and pushing them to have pride in their program. We are a fairly new team especially to UDA, but we believe strongly in where our program is going.
What is your favorite memory or what are you most excited for this season?
My favorite memory from this season is from our very last practice in TD Arena. We all became so emotional because we knew this year was special, and that we would always remember it. Our bond is so strong, and our journey was wonderful. We fought so hard and pushed past our limits but had the time of our lives doing it. I have never been so proud of a group of dancers for their drive, dedication and love for the program.
What's your team's biggest challenge/opportunity this season?
Over the summer, one of our senior captains tore her ACL and meniscus, and she underwent an ACL/meniscus reconstruction surgery with a hamstring graft. She was told it was very unlikely her knee would be strong enough for her to compete in her last UDA Nationals. After surgery in June, she came back in August ready to fight for her chance to dance. In every single practice of our season, she worked incredibly hard to gain the strength she needed in order to compete. She set the tone for what dedication, perseverance and commitment looks like. We are so proud to say that she was able to compete in our Jazz routine at Nationals, defying all of the odds. Each of us found strength and inspiration from her constant fight and determination.
The Cougarettes spotted in the Oksana Pom Dress.