A crowd formed at Omaha’s Eppley Airfield on Monday night to cheer for Nebraska’s newest national champions.
The Millard North High School dance team returned to town after winning two national titles at the UDA National Dance Team Championship in Orlando over the weekend. The 23-member Mustangs competed in the largest team category, winning championship white jackets for varsity jazz and pom competitions.
“They’re all still on cloud nine,” said coach Andrea Feltz. “To win two is very rare.”
The wins mark the school’s first national championships for dance. The team has competed at the UDA Nationals for the past 11 years and has finished second a few times, Feltz said. Only a handful of teams have won more than one national title in a given year.
Millard North’s championship pom routine included a message about battling cancer. One member of the team lost her father to cancer last spring.
The jazz routine featured the song “All My Friends” by Dermot Kennedy and carried themes of friendship and togetherness.
“They definitely felt like they nailed it,” Feltz said. “They were all bawling. They did the best they could have possibly done it.”
The Mustangs were joined in Orlando by 12 other teams from Nebraska.
While in Orlando, the Millard North squad spent a little downtime at Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. But the bulk of the weekend was spent perfecting the routine one last time before hitting the stage.
Millard North’s championship squad was coached by Feltz and her sister Mila O’Brien. The seniors are Brenna Johnson, Michelle Morford, Candace Aquila, Jenna Robertson, Brooke Peterson, Carli Rush and Sydney Speicher.
The team’s juniors are Francesca Stessman, Reghan Svoboda, Julie Nahimov, Molly Johanning and Madison Buda. Anastin Odermatt, Lillian Johanning and Allison Johanning are the team’s three sophomores, while a loaded freshman class includes Olivia Passo, Miranda Johnson, Chloe Herron, Grace Powers, Annie Roberts, Hailey Gregg, Kylie Jones and Sydney Johnson.
“The future is definitely bright,” Feltz said. “They’re gonna be holding their heads high at school.”