In a year when getting there wasn't easy, the Dallas Baptist University cheerleaders and Patriettes dance team showed hard work pays off.
Both teams won the National Cheerleaders Association and National Dance Alliance Collegiate Cheer and Dance Championship in Daytona, Florida. The DBU cheerleaders took home the Division ll Intermediate All-Girl Open title, and the Patriettes won the Division ll Pom Open title.
"It's working a year long for 2 minutes and 30-seconds," cheer captain Mattie Royal said. "It was definitely a dream come true for sure."
It's the first time in school history either team won a national championship.
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"Pretty rare," cheer coach Callie Taylor said. "The fact that we got to do it together at the same time was honestly incredible, and not what we were expecting at all."
That's because the year started off with COVID-19 quarantines and restrictions on practice.
"Our teams were just blessed with a group of girls... that were just willing to put in the work when maybe it wasn't guaranteed that it was going to pay off, or that we would get the opportunity to perform," Patriettes dance coach Brittni Bean said.
Both teams had a mantra.
"That we are dancing and performing for an audience of one, meaning the Lord," Patriettes captain Hope Fortner said. "This year in particular it made sense."
Both captains said the year that went from challenges to championships taught them something they will use the rest of their lives.
"Community is so important, surrounding yourself with people that love you, people that believe in you, people that will help you when times get hard," Royal said. "Take every moment for what it is. And it is a blessing."
The Patriettes also won the Dance Team Union title the same weekend, which they competed in virtually. The DBU cheerleaders were invited to compete this coming weekend at STUNT in Shawnee, Oklahoma.