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UT Rockettes, BGSU Cheer and Dance headed to nationals this weekend

The University of Toledo Dancing Rockettes pose for a picture after their performance at Savage Arena.

Both Bowling Green State University and the University of Toledo have some of their students packing their bags for Orlando.

The UT Dancing Rockettes and BGSU Cheer and Dance teams will be heading to nationals next weekend.

The Dancing Rockettes began the day with an afternoon send off at Savage Arena. They hosted local high schools and dance teams in hopes of perfecting their performance and raising money for the trip.

"We feel good this year. This is only our third year performing at nationals and it's weird because we're one of the oldest dance teams in the nation, but we're really new to the competition world. It's really exciting for us because we've been able to watch us grow a lot in the last three years, since we started," said Senior Kelsey Hilt.

Devon Hays is in her third year as head coach, leading them to their lone three appearances in school history. The Dancing Rockettes are looking to really compete this year.

"First year, it was like let's get there. Let's get there, get on the floor and perform. Second year it was like alright, let's get there and show everybody how good we can do because we had improved so much from the first year. This year, I'm just excited about going out there and being proud of the routine that's going out on the floor."

In the evening, the BGSU Cheerleading and Dance teams held a showcase at the Stroh Center. They've already won a National Championship, back in 2014. Cheer Head Coach Tyler Strom cheered while at school for the Falcons, and is in his first year as head coach.

"It's kind of a different side of the story, which is interesting. These guys and girls have been working really hard every day during winter break. So I'm really excited for them to be down there and for it to be rewarding, whether they hit the routine or not."

For senior cheerleaders and dancers heading to nationals, this will be their last big event to prepare for.

"Definitely bittersweet. I've been cheering for 14 years now, and I won't be cheering after that ever again. It's really bittersweet," declared Lindsey Drewyor.

Kelsey Kincaid added, "And it's nice to end it like this because this is the closest we've ever been as a team."

The competitions begin on Friday, and it will continue through Sunday.

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