POWDERSVILLE — Upstate Carolina Dance Center set a record by winning three of the four national titles at the Clogging Champions of America Showdown of Champions.
“This is a national competition and involves over 1,000 dancers and 350 teams from all across the US,” said director Heather Owens. “UCDC has been trying for this title since 2007, which is the last time we won. We have won runner up several times and only lost by a 100th of a point — but just could not quite grab the title …”
All that changed on Jan. 23 when the cloggers, Owens and coach Blair Andrews headed to Knoxville, Tenn., and snagged the top honors.
“Three of UCDC’s competition clogging teams won the national titles: UCDC Shining Stars Amateur, UCDC Shooting Stars and UCDC Junior Elites,” said Owens.
Of course, just getting into the national competition is half the battle.
“The competition has multiple regional competitions throughout the year and you must qualify before attending Nationals,” she said. “The 2016 season just started so we’re going to competitions now to get the points we’ll need for next year’s Nationals. It’s a process.”
Owens said that the clogging style of UCDC is much more contemporary than “traditional” clogging.
“I think a lot of people picture this old fashioned style but it’s really not like that at all. We dance to Rihanna. It’s very hip-hoppy, very jazzy.”
Dancers with the studio range in age from anywhere between 9 and 21 and the competitive teams all include dancers with five to 15 years experience.
The studio itself has been in business for the past 23 years.
“We’re just so proud of them,” said Owens. “Winning three out of the four (titles) was quite an accomplishment. No other team has ever won three in one year.”
For more information on UCDC or to register for their Summer dance camp, call 864-220-0684 or visit www.upstatecarolinadance.com.
Reach Kasie Strickland at 864-855-0355.