The Monash University Cheer and Dance (MONCAD) Club have enjoyed an incredibly successful overseas trip, recently returning to Australia after competing in the University World Cup Cheerleading and Dance Championships.
Three teams represented Monash in Orlando, Florida - Two dance teams, pom (Minerva) and hip hop (Hercules), and cheer team, Atlas, and all three returned home with impressive results.
For their respective competitions, Minerva finished first, Hercules finished second and Atlas also finished atop their division - results the teams can be extremely proud of.
Holly Beecroft, a member of both the Minerva and Hercules teams, says the overseas competition was a first for all members, who took plenty out of the experience.
“Throughout the season of 2022 we were really happy with our performances so we wanted to take our work and our training to an international competition. After all the hardships of COVID and finding our feet again after lockdown, we had a few desires to travel internationally during that time but obviously because of those (restrictions) we were unable to do so,” Holly says.
“So it’s really exciting to finally get the opportunity to travel to the US, and it was exciting to experience competition with our best friends and teammates but we’re so proud to finally represent Monash, our University, at an international level.”
The decision to head overseas came after the dance teams conquered Australia, winning the AASCF National Championships on the Gold Coast in 2022 over some of the best Universities in the country.
But it was no picnic, with Holly saying the team then committed extra time to training and additional classes to maximise their preparation.
“That (win in Gold Coast) just prompted us to want to take it to the international level to compete and take our performances to the next level, and actually improve as a dance team and as a club into the next year,” Holly added.
“The experience was really eye-opening, it was such a dream to watch and we met some of the most technically advanced teams in the world, so we all feel like we’ve returned to Australia with fresh motivation to take our competition to the next level here in Australia, so hopefully that’ll be really good going into 2023.
“These teams in America, they’re the most technically advanced teams, so especially training in pom and hip hop, we’ve always watched them online and followed them on social media and things like that, so it was really inspiring to see them in person.
“We were lucky to have the opportunity to meet some of them and train with some of them which completely changed how we approached our training in the leadup to the competition and provided us with a lot of tools to come back to Australia to implement that into our own training and also pass that on to some of the dancers who didn’t go but are joining Monash next year.”
As Holly says, the level of competition overseas was one the teams have never before experienced. However, it has kickstarted a process that should see international recognition for the years and dancers to follow.
“It was really exciting representing Monash and there were people asking over there, ‘where are you from’? So I feel like it actually got our name out into the world which is really good for the University,” Holly explained.
“And we’re working with some industry professionals who want to see us back in the future, so that’s really exciting and something to look forward to as our club continues to grow.”
While there are no immediate plans to head overseas in 2023, attention now turns to the state and national championships this year.
But as Holly says, the trip has already fulfilled its purpose.
“That’s the goal, to keep improving our club and our training, to be able to keep performing at these competitions,” she says.