Cause for Celebration: LUDT turns 10

This year, the Lamar University Dance Team is celebrating its 10-year anniversary. Since 2010, the LUDT has been performing at athletic events, telling stories through dance and offering its members a place that “feels like family.”

In 2010, the LU Dance Team replaced the Spirit Team, a group of cheerleaders and dancers who performed mainly at basketball games. However, when football commenced at LU in 2010, cheer and dance separated
Blankenship-Cozad and the LU Dance Team
and the LU Dance Team was established.

Brixey Blankenship-Cozad was a member of the Spirit Team for two years and captain of the team her senior year at LU. In 2005, Blankenship-Cozad danced in the inaugural fundraising show to help dancers go to national competitions. In 2006, during Blankenship-Cozad’s senior year, the show grew and took over the Montagne Center where a seated dinner was served.

Even after the Spirit Team dissolved, the show remained a tradition and Blankenship-Cozad, after a stint dancing in Los Angeles, came back as the LU Dance Team coordinator.  

“I have dreamed of seeing our tenth anniversary, more to come, and prayed to see the program where it is today,” said Blankenship-Cozad. “I have dedicated myself to providing something inspiring and passionate, no matter how long it took.”

Blankenship-Cozad strives to train the dance team members to be ambassadors of Lamar University. During the years, the dance team has performed at a myriad of community events, participated in parades, visited schools and dance studios and offered dance clinics and summer camps.

“Just last year we offered a dance clinic and had 96 participants,” said Blankenship-Cozad. “Everything we do is well attended and successful and we really enjoy reaching out to the community.”

In May, the LU Dance Team will host its 15th anniversary spring show, now held at the Jefferson Theatre. The show is open for two-night performances and schools from the surrounding areas, including Houston attend the production. The intermission features a dance by young dancers who have participated in the LUDT dance clinic.

“The opening night of the show is indescribable until you’re a part of it and it’s hard to explain to friends,” said Hannah Hughes, a senior and two-year LUDT captain. “The show and the team make me feel a sense of accomplishment, satisfaction and I’m most proud when I’m with the 20 girls standing next to me; it’s pure joy.”

Hughes became interested in the LUDT while growing up in Nederland and always knew she wanted to be a part of it.

“Since I was little watching their program grow I knew that it was something I wanted to be a part of so, so badly,” said Hughes, a communications major. “And it has exceeded my expectations. The dance team has provided me so many opportunities, memories and friendships. It’s the most exceptional group I’ve ever been a part of.”

Blankenship-Cozad likens the dance team membership to a sorority. LUDT has an oath, a chant, fundraisers and a real sisterhood established through bonding activities like scavenger hunts, team building, study hall and, of course, workouts and practice.

“From my 20 years of teaching and 36 years of dancing, LUDT is my proudest achievement,” said Blankenship-Cozad. “To everyone who is a part of LUDT, it is so much more than a dance team, it is a family.”

Save the date for LUDT’s 15th anniversary spring show April 30 and May 1.