Sonoma State Sapphires make history with win at nationals for hip-hop routine

The Sonoma State University dance team, the Sapphires, made history this year at their 2016 USA Nationals competition. 

Having never taken home a championship title, the Sapphires proved themselves in taking home the Grand Hip-Hop Championship title for division II and III. 

The Sapphires also took second place in the open style category, falling short to Chapman University who are six-time national titleholders. 

The two days the Sapphires spent in Anaheim over spring break were packed full of dancing. On the first day, March 19, the Sapphires won first place in the pre-liminary round for their hip-hop routine and kept their spot the following day during the finals round. Their winning hip-hop routine was to a remix of Missy Elliot hits and their lyrical performance slowed it down to the tune of “I Surrender” by Celin Dion.

To prepare for this competition and other school events, the Sapphires practice year-round, dancing three nights a week to perfect their technique, stage presence and routines. Senior and captain Erica Pecho joined the Sapphires her freshman year and made it a commitment throughout her time at Sonoma State.

 “I have stayed on dance team all four years because of the passion I have for dancing,” said Pecho. “It honestly felt so surreal when we won. All of the hard work, especially for us seniors has truly paid off. It still feels unreal.”  

“The work ethic of all the members was remarkable and we all had the same goal in mind,” said Sapphires team coach and Sonoma State alumnae Megan Bowcot. “Our next goal is to keep the number of members high on the team and of course defend ourtitle at Nationals. Sonoma State has never been a top pick for competitive dancers and I can’t wait to see this change in the future.” 

After winning their national competition, the Sapphires are now preparing for their annual Spring showcase. This Spring Show allows members of the Sapphires to come up with routines and choreograph them with their fellow dance team members. 

“I’m really excited about this years’ sping show because I’ll be choregraphing two dances,” said member Madison Muro. “We have already started practing and working on our routines to get ready for the show come April.”

 The Spring show is the Sapphire’s last chance to leave their heart on the dance floor before spring auditions roll around. 

Spring auditions will be held Saturday, April 30 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Wolves’ Den. 

“I think students should join because it’s tons of fun and you become a family with everyone else,” said Bowcot. “I think of all of the members on the team as my family and would do anything for them.” 

For more information on the Sapphires or for audition information go to