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NMSU DanceSport Company places fourth at national event

The New Mexico State University DanceSport Company placed fourth overall at the National Collegiate DanceSport Championships held on Nov. 21 and 22 in Columbus, Ohio. Team members competed against 46 universities and surpassed last year?s appearance, where they received fifth place overall.

Members of the DanceSport Company at NMSU celebrate their win.
The NMSU DanceSport Company celebrates after placing 4th at the National Collegiate DanceSport Championships. (Courtesy photo)

?I am always very proud of my team,? DanceSport coach and dance assistant professor Hannah Cole said. ?I am proud of their wins, but mostly, I am proud of the way that they treat each other and the way they represent NMSU. They are positive, supportive, encouraging and pour their heart out as they dance.?

In addition to the overall win, the DanceSport team received first runner-up for its team ballroom formation performance and third place overall for the American style team match. Individual pairs also received top honors throughout the championship.

Ariel Freilich and Zachary Pohl won first place in the pre-championship open smooth category. Both students are dance majors interested in pursuing professional ballroom dance careers following their graduation this upcoming May.

Valeria Zerecero and Irvin Zavala Verdugo placed first in newcomer cha cha, newcomer rumba, newcomer swing, bronze mambo and bronze rhythm. Both students are in their first semester with the DanceSport Company.

The NMSU DanceSport Company team consisted of 18 ballroom, Latin and swing dancers, with finalists in 26 competitive events, including national champions in eight separate categories. More than 850 dancers competed at the championships, with 136 members competing from the top placing university.

?Each of the NMSU DanceSport members do their best in every moment,? Cole said. ?They exude nothing but love and passion. That combined with the talent they have is something that has definitely made a big mark on the dance world.?

Team members have dedicated between 8 to 20 hours per week to prepare for this competition. On an ordinary day, DanceSport members can be seen scattered around the Activity Center with small speakers or gathered together in Rentfrow Gym.

?These competitions are essential to fulfill our mission to develop highly-trained collegiate DanceSport athletes and aspiring DanceSport professionals,? Cole said.

The next step for DanceSport team members is the Manhattan Amateur Classic taking place in January 2015. This is the longest standing amateur competition in the United States and acts as a regional qualifier for the USA Dance Nationals.

For a complete list of award winners, visit the NMSU DanceSport Facebook page at