St. Ambrose (Iowa) Wins Historic Third Red Banner with Highest Ever Score

St. Ambrose (Iowa) Wins Historic Third Red Banner with Highest Ever Score

YPSILANTI, Mich. – Two years removed from winning its last national title, St. Ambrose (Iowa) are back on top after becoming the first program ever to win three NAIA Competitive Dance National Championships. The Bees accomplished the historic feat in style by posting the highest-ever overall score at nationals with 93.40 points.

Saturday was the second and final day of the 7th annual NAIA Dance National Championships. The event was held at the George Gervin GameAbove Center on the campus of Eastern Michigan. It’s the second straight year the competition has been held in Ypsilanti, Mich., after Saint Ambrose had hosted the previous three editions — one of which was canceled due to COVID-19.

Friday's preliminary performance accounted for 25% of their total, with the finals on Saturday comprising the other 75%.

Finals Performance Highlights

  • St. Ambrose performed last after receiving the highest preliminary score. The Bees finals performance was given the highest score of the two-day event with 94.07 points to bump their overall score to 93.40 — a new NAIA record.
  • St. Ambrose is now the only program to win three national championships, doing so in 2018, 2021 and 2023.
  • Midland (Neb.) comfortably slotted into second place with a finals performance of 90.93 points to tally an overall score of 89.76 points.
  • The fight for the last spot on the podium was contested between four teams, all separated by a point and a half. Grand View (Iowa) narrowly topped the pack with an overall score of 86.64 points.
  • Oklahoma City was the biggest mover on the final day, going from seventh place in prelims to a fourth-place overall finish on Saturday with a score of 85.67.
  • Doane (Neb.) edged defending national champions Morningside (Iowa) to finish inside the Top Five. 
  • Site hosts Concordia (Mich.) and Viterbo (Wis.) also moved up the standings on Saturday with Concordia going from 11th to 10th and Viterbo improving from eighth to seventh.
  • St. Ambrose, Midland, Oklahoma City, Doane (Neb.), Morningside (Iowa), Baker (Kan.), Thomas More (Ky.) and Loyola (La.) did not receive any deductions.

Finals Team Standings

1. St. Ambrose (Iowa) — 93.40

2. Midland (Neb.) — 89.76

3. Grand View (Iowa) — 86.64

4. Oklahoma City — 85.67

5. Doane (Neb.) — 85.53

6. Morningside (Iowa) — 85.23

7. Viterbo (Wis.) — 83.71

8. Baker (Kan.) — 83.49

9. Thomas More (Ky.) — 80.55

10. Concordia (Mich.) — 78.98

11. Aquinas (Mich.) — 78.16

12. Loyola (La.) — 77.09

Championship Information

NAIA Cheer & Dance Championship

March 29-30, 2024
Ypsilanti, Mich.