PROVIDENCE, RI – For the second year in a row the Wildcats cheerleading team received a bid to the National Cheerleaders Association/National Dance Association championship, April 8-12, 2020 in Daytona Beach, Fla. The dance team earned their first ever bid to the national championship event this past weekend as well.
Johnson & Wales will compete in the NCAA Division III Game Day division, which was added in 2017-18. Teams in the division can utilize up to 30 people and be comprised of cheerleaders, dancers, mascots, drumline or any "spirit" related group. The newly announced spirit squad plans on joining their efforts to compete in the 2020 event.
To compete at nationals, each team must qualify either through a camp or video submission of skills. Bids are awarded based on an evaluation from an NCA/NDA instructor who judges on skill level and execution of skills and both squads earned a 'superior' rating on the two-day camp.
The cheerleaders will prepare for nationals by fine-tuning their skills with a particular focus on stunting. JWU will also focus on individual stunts such as tumbling, pyramids and basket tosses. Turns, jumps and leaps will be the focus for the dance team while also honing their pom and jazz styles. Both teams have already begun working on their routine for Homecoming & Family Weekend as well as Wildcat Madness, while preparing for the upcoming basketball season, which kicks off November 12 when the women's team hosts Mitchell.
The weekend affair with NCA/NDA instructors was quite eventful for our beloved Willie the Wildcat. Willie worked on new skits and performances both individually and with the teams to prepare for the remainder of the 2019-20 season as well as the trip to Nationals.