The Path to UDA National Champs


In 2017, the Varsity TOMs competed in four competitions. They started their season at Legacy High School on Saturday, Nov. 4, taking an impressive first place in jazz. Just three days later, the girls competed at Cherry Creek High School in the annual Centennial League Championship. The girls performed a phenomenal poms routine, but unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to beat the defending league and state champion, Cherry Creek High School, as well as runner-up, Grandview High School. On Nov. 11, they headed to the National Western Complex to compete against the best poms teams in the state in the UDA Mile High Championship. The girls placed 6th out of 14 teams, with all four state finalists in front of them (Cherry Creek, Grandview, Cherokee Trail, and Thunderridge).

The final competition of 2017 was the CHSAA State Spirit Championships on Dec. 9. In a division with twenty other teams, the girls placed 8th and were four places away from dancing at finals. Unfortunately, the Centennial League was full of great Poms teams this year; Grandview High School became the State Runner-Up in 5A Poms, Cherry Creek High School took 3rd, and Cherokee Trail High School took 4th. The greatest news is UDA Nationals is a fresh start — a time for our Arapahoe TOMs to shock the state of Colorado.

This Thursday evening, Feb. 1, the Arapahoe Varsity TOMs will travel over 1,500 miles to sunny Orlando, Florida for this years UDA National Dance Team Championship. The competition will take place at ESPN Wide World of Sport from Feb. 2 -4. The girls will compete against a handful of teams from each state.

After the ladies arrive at Orlando International Airport, they will head to their own team house where they will spend the weekend. On Friday, the girls will practice for four hours, eat dinner in Downtown Disney, and then get ready to thrive the next day. On Saturday, the girls will hit the floor for jazz preliminaries at 11:45am. Semi-finals for jazz will be announced at 1:15 pm.

When asking Captain Taylor Amen, 12, about her confidence in the team’s dances this year, she said, “I’m looking forward to hopefully making finals with both dances instead of just one — we actually have a shot with jazz this year. We have never really had a chance with our jazz dance previously, but we have a good shot this year.”

Later in the evening, at 6:21pm, will be the poms routine. At 7:00pm, semi-finals for poms will be announced. If the girls make a semifinals, they will continue to dance on Sunday in hopes of making finals.

When asking Sara Turner, 09, about what she is most excited for, she said, “I’m looking forward to staying in a house this year with a pool and getting to see all the other teams dance. It should just be a good team-bonding experience as well as a good dance experience.” When the girls are not on the dance floor, they will be in the pool, exploring Disney parks such as Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, and Epcot, as well as relaxing in the warm sun.

If you would like to follow the TOMs journey to become UDA National Champions, follow us on our Twitter, @ArapahoeXtra, and Instagram, @Arapahoe.xtra.