The Oakton High School Dance Team brought home two coveted finalist trophies from the 2023 annual Universal Dance Association National Dance Team Championship held Feb. 3 – 5 at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports in Orlando, Florida. Under the direction of head coach Karen Rowley and assistant coach Jennifer Pyles Wright, returning Dance Team graduates Nina Vu-Gia and Gabby Parrillo, and the leadership of seniors Amber Li, Ili Rong, Sabrina Villaflor, and Ava Wolsborn, the Oakton dancers placed within the top 12 of the over 100 teams in the Varsity High Kick and Game Day categories.
This was not Oakton's first successful trip to Nationals. During the 22 years of Coach Rowley's tenure, Oakton's Dance Team has placed in the top 15 in the country 17 times. This remarkable record can be attributed to the steadfast dedication and hard work of the dancers and coaches, who commit nearly eight months of the year to strength training, conditioning, developing technical skills, and perfecting choreography, say the team’s fans. Those efforts, along with the support of parents and dance team alumnae, have made Oakton's dancers some of the best in the country year after year.