The North Central College dance team with their championship trophy.

North Central News

North Central dance team wins back-to-back national championships

Jacob Imm

May 19, 2023

On the weekend of April 8-9, 2023, the North Central College dance team made history, winning their second consecutive national championship in the Division III pom category at The College Classic in Orlando, Fla.

Head Coach Vicki Pile said it was a different atmosphere for the NCC Dance Team as they entered the Classic this time as defending champions of the competition.

“This season we were so much more comfortable and confident as we approached nationals because of our experience and success the year prior,” she said. “We not only wanted to maintain our title, but also improve immensely from our first year at The College Classic.”

Despite feeling the weight of added expectations, the team embraced the challenge and thrived on it.

“We felt more pressure this year to defend our title,” said Pile. “We knew what we were capable of, so there was internal pressure to uphold that achievement and bring home another title. The pressure we put on ourselves motivated us to work harder.

“Our previous success gave us a newfound confidence and in turn, that confidence allowed us to trust ourselves and each other, further pushing us to give our all in everything we do.”

Motivated to build on last year’s achievements, the team went above and beyond. In addition to the championship in pom, the team finished second nationally in the Division III jazz category thanks to choreography from North Central students and team captains Emma Blaser ‘24 and Isabella Mahoney ‘23.  The North Central team achieved a milestone by earning the highest scores in program history in both the pom and jazz categories.

The North Central College dance team performing.

With its continued success, the team will start to shift focus from not only improving, but more toward setting a standard for the program to carry into the future.

“Having transformed over the last four years from a student-led recreational team into a nationally ranked team with a strong structure and professional coaching is an achievement we are so incredibly proud of,” Pile said. “Our team’s success allows us to share all of the hard work we have been putting in and helps us make a name for ourselves.”

Winning and being known for it are great motivators, but Pile knows there needs to be more to any activity than a desire for success. When asked what her students get out of participating in dance beyond the thrill of competing, she cited the strong community the team has created.

“To be able to communicate well, work as a team, and hold each other accountable, it is necessary to create an environment that includes trust, understanding, respect and kindness to all members of our team,” she said. “We have grown to be the best of friends and have created bonds with our teammates each year, which will last a lifetime — something more important and special than any trophy or award.”

Watch the team's championship-winning pom performance.

The North Central College dance team with their championship trophy.