The Michigan dance team is more than a bunch of pretty faces. The women who make up the team are competitive athletes with a clear goal on their minds. In early January, the team will enter the national competition in Orlando, Fla. with the hopes of bringing back a championship to Ann Arbor.

“I wouldn’t say we are nervous about the competition,” junior captain Lorin O’Toole said. “I would say that we are excited for this upcoming event. I believe we have a good chance as long as we bring our performance together and take it up a notch.”

Michigan will face many competitive dancers including Orange Coast Community College and most of the Big Ten. Orange Coast, the defending national champion, is expected to be Michigan’s toughest opposition.

“The national competition is going to be challenging for our team,” O’Toole said. “Because this is the only collegiate competition we have all year, it puts all the pressure on it.”

The Wolverines have already had one victory this season.

For years, the dance team has been persistently requesting a place in the Michigan Stadium on football Saturdays.

Earlier in the season, the dance team’s performances in the Big House were temporary, and the team lobbied hard to remain a permanent part of the festivities. Michigan asked its student population to help by sending emails, phone calls and other forms of encouragement for the team’s cause.

On Sept. 21, when Michigan played Utah, the athletic department announced that the dance team would be allowed to remain in Michigan’s south end zone for all home football games. The team felt that this was a great accomplishment.

“When they approached my coach and I before the game and gave us the news, I was extremely excited,” O’Toole said. “We have been trying to do this for a long time now.”

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