LSU Tiger Girls win Hip Hop National Championship at UDA Nationals, earn third place in jazz

The LSU Tiger Girls brought home a national championship after winning Division IA Hip Hop at the Universal Dance Associated Championship in Orlando, Florida, on Sunday. The team also won third place in the DIA Jazz division. 

Coined by social media as the “Dance Super Bowl,” the UDA Nationals Competition happens every January at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.

This three-day competition is intense and scores among teams are miniscule. Routines go viral, and new unseen skills are brought to the stage every year, setting new standards.

Led by coaches Kandace Hale and Londyn Daniel, the Tiger Girls performed two striking and unique routines. 

Hip Hop

After earning first place in 2022 with their idolized “Like a Boy” hip hop dance, the Tiger Girls were on a mission to bring the championship back to the boot in 2024. 

As soon as the first note played of the iconic song “Smooth Criminal” by Michael Jackson, the crowd was taken back in time by an all-around classic routine. 







LSU Tiger Girls

The LSU Tiger Girls perform their Division IA hip hop routine to “Smooth Criminal” by Michael Jackson at the Universal Dance Associated Championship in Orlando, Florida.



Utilizing intricate locking moves and fast footwork, the routine looked simultaneously robotic and groovy. The team’s ability to accentuate cohesion and clean moves from beginning to end sold the dance. 

Carsen Rowe, Nathan Cherry, Geovanna Garavelo-Bortoleto and former LSU Tiger Girl Sammy McFadden choreographed this routine. The dance’s composition highlighted Michael Jackson moves and made this version of LSU’s iconic hip hop style stand out. Overall, the routine’s musicality and staging was clearly unbeatable.  

Each dancer’s ability to emulate the classic Michael Jackson persona largely made the routine fun and energetic. 

The Tiger Girls bring something new to the stage every year. They take creative risks and don’t stick to the trends already seen in the college dance world. 

Usually, teams in the hip hop division will stick to popular songs that are more current. However, the Tiger Girls used a classic song, with a retro style performance to stay authentic and different from their competition.

In the semi-finals, the TGs were in first place with a 95.15 event score. University of Nevada, Las Vegas was second with a 93.79. To secure the championship title, the Tiger Girls came out even stronger in the finals and earned a 97.22. 







LSU Tiger Girls

The LSU Tiger Girls perform their Division IA hip hop routine to “Smooth Criminal” by Michael Jackson at the Universal Dance Associated Championship in Orlando, Florida.



With their continuous success in the hip hop division, the Tiger Girls have built a legacy. Every year, they place high, and each dance is different and unique from the last. 

Last year’s routine to “Crazy in Love” by Beyonce showcased a more feminine style of hip hop, with the team dancing in heels and tight jumpsuits. 

This year’s choreography and style was a complete turn from their 2023 routine. Dancing in fedoras, ties and Nike Dunk Low shoes, the Tiger Girls presented a more funk-dance style, showing off the team’s versatility. 

Jazz

The Tiger Girls earned third place in DIA Jazz with their hard-hitting routine to “Are You That Somebody” by Aaliyah. It’s the teams first time finishing in the top three in this division in 10 years. 







LSU Tiger Girls

The LSU Tiger Girls perform their Division IA jazz routine to “Are You That Somebody” by Aaliyah at the Universal Dance Associated Championship in Orlando, Florida.



Choosing a song with fast, distinct beats made the musicality of the dance stand out. Choreographed by Kristin Daniel, every move appeared rhythmic with the beat and lyrics of the music. 

Compared to other routines in this division, LSU’s routine had a hip-hop undertone with fast footwork and groovy hip and arm movements. 

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The team was in unison in their technique, turn sections, group choreography and floorwork.

This year, the jazz division took place over three days and had prelims, semi finals and finals. LSU finished with a 96.77 event score and was approximately two points behind first and second place. 







LSU Tiger Girls

The LSU Tiger Girls perform their Division IA jazz routine to “Are You That Somebody” by Aaliyah at the Universal Dance Associated Championship in Orlando, Florida.



In the jazz category, Ohio State took first place and Minnesota earned second. These teams always dominate, and for the eighth year in a row they finished in the top two.

Minnesota and Ohio State had powerful performances with difficult technique and turn sections. While each of the top routines varied in style, each one played to the team’s strengths. 

The UDA college nationals weekend only happens once a year, and it never lacks tough competition with ground-breaking routines that set the bar even higher.

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