Sapphires place fourth at National competition

The Sonoma State University Dance Team placed fourth at the Nationals competition on March 23. The Nationals competition is open to schools throughout the country to apply for. All collegiate dance teams are invited to travel to Anaheim for the competition. The Sapphires were one of eight teams to compete in their category. The Sapphires performed their routine to “Fix You” by Coldplay. 

Prior to performance, the SSU Sapphires spent months practicing their routine starting in October. The team regularly practices four times a week in three-hour increments. The practices would start anywhere as early as 6 a.m. and could go as late as midnight. During the last week before the performance the team practiced for more than 30 hours. Sophomore Carissa Pinnix said that the team was very prepared for the competition.

“Our team was very well prepared and we even had time to do a lot of team bonding because teams that bond together, dance well together,” said Pinnix. “We also sat down and shared what our Nationals song meant to us and all got to hear everyone’s stories. In doing this we were prepared for anything to come our way. We didn’t care how we placed because we were so proud of ourselves!”

In the time before the competition the Sonoma State Sapphires had the opportunity to go to Disneyland for a day. This time spent together helped bond them before the competition and helped boost their spirits.

“This is probably the closest knit team that the Sonoma State Dance Team has ever encountered,” said Pinnix. “We all get along with each other and we all are amazing dancers, which push each other to be stronger. At nationals we felt as if there was no other team closer than us. We stood out in the most amazing way.”

After the competition concluded, the team had the chance to reflect upon their routine and their accomplishments. Sophomore Jessica Denis said that she was very proud of the team. 

“As a team, we are all so different yet we work so well together. I think we all bring something very special to this team,” said Denis. “I am very proud of how well we did. We left it all on the stage and that is all I could ask for. We got fourth in the nation, and that is just a plus!”

Ultimately the team placed fourth in their category after competing against teams from around the country including teams from as far as Hawaii, Pennsylvania and Missouri. Coach Jenna Connolly told the STAR that she could not have been prouder of her team during the competition.

“No matter the placement, I am extremely proud of the Sapphires’ performance and commitment to dance,” said Connolly. “I believe a first place trophy is nothing compared to a first place performance, and this dance team definitely danced like champions.”

This April the dance team will present the “SSU Sapphires Annual Spring Dance Show”. The shows will be at Person Theater, and will occur on April 25 at 7:30 p.m. and on April 27 at 1 p.m. Admission to the event will be $5 for Sonoma State University Students and $10 for non-students. 

The routine that was performed at Nationals is now available to be seen on the Sonoma State University Sapphires YouTube channel at