Nationals 2012

So here’s the deal.

Nationals was this past week. It was my last trip to Daytona, FL with the team and I had my hopes up. This was our year. 

Turns out, it really, really, wasn’t our year. One thing after another went not quite as expected to the point that everything became hilariously unfortunate. So, ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, the top 4 things that made nationals 2012 fail city (don’t worry, it wasn’t all bad…but you gotta read until the end).

1) 8.540 This is the lowest score our team has received in the four years I’ve been on it. Not only did the team receive this score in prelims, but, despite feeling a hundred times better after our second performance, received the exact same score when we performed in the ever-torturous Challenge Cup. Needless to say, this score did not earn us the place I think we deserved to have in the competition, though I admit, I am a little biased.

2) Club Aqua Every year, the team celebrates the end of the season by hitting the town on Saturday night. Last year, we discovered Club Aqua. Our team of 18 consisted of 80% of the club’s patrons for the night. We had an absolute blast there, taking up the entire dance floor and utilizing the shadow boxes to re-create our nationals dance. We requested all our favorite songs and danced the night away. We planned to repeat this amazing experience this year, only to find that in our absence, Aqua had been shut down.

3) Cloudy and Cold Saturday is the one day of our trip that we don’t have a dance event to be at, so naturally it’s our day in the sun. I was fully pumped to get my tan on, lay pool-side with a nice cold beverage, and take underwater pics with my awesome camera. However, my plans were foiled when the team awoke Saturday morning to find cloudy skies and chilly temperatures. Lo and behold, our day in the sun turned into a day wrapped in sweatshirts by the pool we were too cold to jump into. Whenever the sun did manage to peek out for more than ten seconds, we quickly stripped down to our bathing suits and tried to soak up as many UV rays as possible.

4) Stranded For the second time in the four years I’ve been on the team, a miscommunication led to the team being stuck at the airport in Boston for an hour and a half. After a less than successful week and a long day of traveling, all we wanted to do was get home, but our shuttle was nowhere to be found. While our coach tried in vain to contact the person responsible for arranging the shuttle, the team hunkered down outside with our baggage. In the end, one of our fans from the Student Activities office tracked down the phone number we needed and saved the day even though it wasn’t her job to. At least someone cares about us! 🙂

Now, lest you starting thinking What a *&$#@, five days in Florida and all she’s going to do is complain… there were some really fun parts of the trip.

  • Eating nine vanilla/chocolate kreme donuts
  • Watching finals on Friday (though it would have been better to be IN them)
  • Taking pictures on the beach with the team
  • Exchanging gifts with the team Wednesday before prelims
  • Going out to our favorite Italian restaurant for dinner
  • Watching the other teams from the northeast do AMAZINGLY
  • Seeing friends from home perform
  • Staying in the HILTON for the first year ever and not having to walk very far to anything!
  • Throwing my nasty false eyelashes into the ocean after challenge cup
  • Receiving the newest addition to my stuffed animal collection, Wallace. Thanks, Erin!
  • Supportive tweets and texts from friends and family
  • Watching Hip Hop Friday night…mind completely blown.
  • Watching our choreographer’s team win Hip Hop D1, he was so happy!
  • Hanging out with the team Saturday (even if it wasn’t at Aqua)
  • Coloring pictures for everyone on the plane
  • Coming home and getting to show my friends how amazing we looked on the stage 🙂

But the best part of the trip?

Pre-departure, I told my team that I wanted only one thing from our Nationals experience: to come off the  stage knowing that was the best time we had done the dance. I wanted that post-performance high that only comes when you know that not only did you nail it, but the rest of the team did too.

After challenge cup, I was granted my wish. We left the floor in a euphoric state, I was bawling my eyes out from happiness. I said to the team, “I’m crying because I don’t want it to be over, but if it is over, that is exactly how I would have wanted it to end.”

Hours later, after the award ceremony that placed us fourth in challenge cup, denying us a chance to perform in finals, I was still riding an unusual high. Apparently the judges thought our dance didn’t merit a spot in finals. And apparently it was not even one one-thousandth of a point better than when we’d done it earlier that day in prelims. But in that moment I didn’t care. I didn’t want to ruin the end of my season being upset. Besides, I got exactly what I wanted. The feeling I had as I danced the last few counts of our routine, shouted “5,6, 7, 8!” and followed the team off the floor for the last time was something I will always remember.

So maybe this trip wasn’t exactly what I expected, but I am still so proud of all the girls. Dance is a subjective sport, you’re always working to impress the judges and it’s easy to forget sometimes that it’s more important to impress ourselves. The team can always watch the video of our performance and say Wow, we looked great, despite what the judges think.

To my team: Thank you girls, for an amazing season. I really and truly could not have asked for anything more from you. You are all incredible dancers and spectacular friends. I love all of you more than I can say. SCDT WHAAAAAAAT!

What everyone really should do is see for yourself how awesome we looked. You can check out our routine here:

Just type our school’s name in the search bar (for anonymity purposes, I’ve left our school name out, if you’re a subscriber to my blog, and want to see the video, shoot me an email over at and I’ll tell you).



About MMM

Resolving to write in 2011!
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2 Responses to Nationals 2012

  1. Marisa Montinieri says:

    Hi Mere…I read with much anticipation your blogs from Florida…I had to comment about something; in life there are so many ups and downs and it may be wonderful when things are on an upswing but a person’s resisilence and strength comes from how they deal with the down times. You are truly an inspiration and I love how you dealt with the whole situation. I am anticipating much success for you in your future as you have made the best of a not-so-great situation and found a positive from it. I love ya lots and look forward to years of reading your blogs. XO Auntie M.

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