BY LARRY VAUGHT
Two top six finishes like Kentucky dance had at the national championship would be noteworthy at most schools. However, Kentucky dance cannot help but be in the shadow of UK’s dominant cheer squad which is recognized as the nation’s best annually.
“It does make it tough. We are so used to it,” sophomore Sydney Prince, a dance team member from Lexington, said. “People will come up to us and say, ‘UK cheer,’ and we have to tell them we are UK dance. But we know they are amazing. It’s easy not to get down about that.”
She says dance members joke that they eventually hope to be able to hold up one finger for winning one title where the UK cheerleaders can put up “23” for their titles after another recent win in Orlando.
“We were right in the front for their final performance. It was flawless,” Prince said about the cheerleaders. “The energy in the room was crazy. Everyone wants to see them. People are packed in like sardines
“They have so much pressure on them because of the high expectations. For us, we have a bumpy road to get to the top because in the dance world Minnesota is the top. For UK cheer, they have to win or it is a big upset that they did not. For us, since we have never won, we are pleased just to place. But UK cheer has so much pressure.”
However, Prince said watching UK cheer there was no doubt who had the best team. She said other cheer teams this year had copied UK’s “tricks” from last year to try and match the level of difficulty.
“Kentucky cheer is always pushing the boundaries. That’s why they are so far ahead of everyone else,” Prince said. “In the prelims they had a fall on a stunt but their raw score was so much higher than any other team’s it didn’t matter.”