MONROE, La (ULM Release) - The ULM Hawkline received national recognition after overcoming a storm of adversity.
The ULM Hawkline traveled to Denton, Texas and competed in Hip Hop and Jazz at the American Collegiate Dance Championship on March 19, 2016. The squad brought home the 1st place trophy and the National Championship title in Division 1A Hip Hop, and 3rd in Division 1A in Jazz.
The ULM Hawkline beat out several schools like the University of Texas, Baylor University and Southern Methodist University to bring home the squad’s first national title.
Sean Menefee, Coordinator of Spirit Groups said, “Our head coach, Kelsey Bohl, did such a great job choreographing their routines and Hawkline did an amazing job executing it…Both Kelsey and the members of the Hawkline put all that they had into this competition and for that, I couldn’t be happier.”
The journey to the American Collegiate Dance Championship (ACDC) was not an easy feat. The squad decided to introduce completely new choreography and music for their Hip Hop routine. They were not able to practice the new choreography until the Monday before competition. Head Coach Kelsey Bohl said the obstacles presented by the flood were so influential that she almost had to make the decision to cut the Hip Hop routine, “if I felt like it wasn't ready to be performed.”
The flood was an inconvenience for the Warhawks as they traveled, but it was a tragedy for senior captain, Anna Kate Haman, whose family suffered property damage from the flood ranging from 3 inches to 1 foot. She said that dancing with her teammates makes her “smile and laugh even on the worst days.” “I think that's one reason that winning at competition was so incredible,” Haman continued. “In the middle of so much loss and devastation back home, it was a light that gave me something to smile about!”
Needless to say, the Hawkline brought the thunder at the ACDC. The Hawkline had only two weeks to prepare for nationals, and the flooding cost the team days of practice time. The squad persevered. They scheduled extra practices, some lasting up to four hours long, in order to compete at the highest level possible.
The Hawkline brought home the first place trophy, a banner, and a $300 scholarship. The squad also won the Academic Championship for division 1A, for which they received a Golden plate trophy.
Samantha Vaughn, the co-captain of the Hawkline, said the squad practiced, monitored progress by videotaping routines, and bonded at Six Flags before competition. She explained during the award’s ceremony that once the second place team and suspected winner was announced, they all became excited and started to anticipate the victory.
This is the Hawkline’s most prestigious achievement ever. Both Menefee and Vaughn attribute the programs success to head coach Bohl.
“Kelsey [Bohl] has a strong mind, and when she sees something, she goes for it,” said Menefee. He explained that Bohl tailored the program to what the fans wanted to see, ultimately creating Hip Hop National Champions.
Bohl said watching seniors Samantha Vaughn, Anna Kate Haman and Charley Roses grow and improve as dancers and performers during their Hawkline career has been inspiring. “My goal as coach has been to grow the talent and technique level of Hawkline, and we now have a trophy to prove that Hawkline has truly become the area's premier dance team,” said Bohl.
The Hawkline will be holding auditions on April 30; registration starts at 8:30 a.m. The squad will offer open technique practices on Mondays, April 4, 11, 18, and 25 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in Brown Gym. They will also provide audition clinics and workshops on April 28 and 29.