Transylvania cheer and dance teams kick off championship season this week in Daytona Beach

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Lexington, Ky. – The Transylvania cheer and dance team will kick off a stretch of championship competitions this week, beginning with the cheer team's trip to Daytona Beach, Florida.

This past Sunday, the Pioneers hosted the annual Family and Friends Showcase at the Beck Center in Lexington as the launching pad for both teams as they head into their respective championship events over the next two weeks: the Transylvania cheer team will compete on Thursday, April 4 at the National Cheerleaders Association Collegiate Championship at the Ocean Center Convention Center in Daytona, Florida.

Beginning Thursday, April 11, the Transylvania dance team will travel to Las Vegas, Nevada to compete at the Dance Team Union College Classic at Bally's Las Vegas Hotel and Casino.

The 2019 championship events marks the second straight year in which the cheer and dance teams have competed for championships at separate locations. The Transylvania cheer team is making its fifth consecutive appearance at the NCA Collegiate Championship in Daytona while the Transylvania dance team is appearing for the second straight year at the DTU College Classic in Las Vegas.

The Transylvania cheer team begins its competition in the preliminary round on Thursday, April 4 at the Band Shell as they aim to advance to the final round held the next day, Friday, April 5. The Pioneers will compete in a second preliminary event on Thursday in a challenge cup with a potential advancement into the finals to follow also on Friday.

"I am most excited about our increased difficulty going into national competition," commented Transylvania cheer and dance head coach Tora Carter. "These athletes have been working since July towards our goal of hitting our routine!"

This year, the Pioneer cheer team will be competing in the Intermediate All-Girl Division III category. Last year, the Pioneers placed third in the Intermediate All-Girl Division III Challenge Cup.

The Transylvania Dance team will aim to build upon a fifth-place finish in the Open Team Dance Division of last year's DTU competition. "Our dancers have been working extremely hard on our national choreography and we are more excited than ever to perform this routine," Carter added.

The dance team will compete in the College Open Division, a format which includes a routine composed of hip-hop, jazz, and pom segments for a total routine of two minutes. Competing teams will be judged on artistry, technique, execution of routine, and the overall crowd effect for each portion.

During their preparations, the dance team has practiced three times a week, learning new techniques including turn and jump sequences, choreography for each various segment, and the piecing together of all those elements.

For live updates from Daytona Beach, follow @TransyCheer on Instagram.

To follow the Transylvania Dance team's trip to the Dance Team Union Classic, follow @TransyDance on Instagram.