The BYU Cougarettes clinched the National Dance Alliance National Championships in the hip hop and jazz divisions April 5-6 in Daytona, Florida, winning their 18th and 19th national titles.
This weekend marked the team’s first two division championship win since 2015, though the team had won 17 national titles before 2019. In the hip hop division, the Cougarettes defeated their rivals from Louisville, Kentucky, who won the division at the 2018 NDA National Championships.
Leading up to the weekend, longtime head coach Jodi Maxfield was optimistic about the team’s championship trajectory. The 2019 Cougarettes roster is young with more than half of the 19 dancers being freshmen, but Maxfield said she felt like she was working with a team of veterans.
“Every one of my teams I consider special, but I think this team has just come together in such a unique way,” Maxfield said. “I have 10 freshmen on this team, who have just felt like veterans from the start. Their routines have come together so quickly because they are really a unified team.”
Unification was an important theme for the BYU women this year and was part of the team’s double championship success. Team captain and three-year team member Emery Wride said this Cougarettes team is the most united team she’s been on.
“This is my third year on the team and I haven’t had a team be this united,” Wride said. “There’s something special and you don’t get a team like that very often.”
Among the supporters who traveled to Florida to support the team was BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe. The Cougarettes, formerly a part of the dance department, switched to the athletic department in recent years.
In addition to the Cougarettes’ new national titles, the International Cheer Union has selected the team to represent the U.S. at the World Championships, which commence April 23.
The Cougarettes will have the opportunity to once again showcase their national championship-winning hip hop routine, hoping to bring home their first world title to BYU and the U.S.
Maxfield has coached the Cougarettes to multiple national titles, but the team’s upcoming appearance on the world stage in Orlando will be her first time coaching at the international level.
“I think it’s incredible,” Maxfield said. “It’s the Olympics of cheerleading.”