In addition to competing at the National Dance Team Championship at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, this weekend, the Loyola Ramblerettes will be honored with an award Sunday that recognizes the team’s commitment to academics, service and spirit.

Given to one cheer team and one dance team every year, the Varsity Brands National Spirit Leader Award is something the senior-laden Ramblerettes have been striving toward since January 2016, according to head coach Cindy McLean. The team, which has seven seniors on its 14-member roster, will be featured on ESPN.

“This was a chance to give back to the people who support us and a way to carry out the Loyola mission of women and men for others,” McLean said. “We worked on this award for the past year. In the process of focusing on others through service and school spirit, we actually had fun and it really bonded our team.”

The two-day national event starts Saturday and includes teams from every state competing in four dance styles: Pom, Hip Hop, Jazz and Kick. There are three categories (Small, Medium, Large) based on team size. Loyola will compete in Small Pom and Small Jazz in Saturday’s preliminaries. The finals are Sunday.

Prior to nationals, the Ramblerettes enjoyed a standout season in Illinois. They won the first-ever Catholic League Dance Championship and qualified for the IHSA’s state tournament.


Head coach: Cindy McLean

Assistant coaches: Erin Shapiro, Morganne Stevens

Choreographer: Loren LoMastro-Specht

Seniors: Margot Browne, Malia Burden, Reilly Collins, Ellie Cullen, Molly Lynch, Kiley Murnane, Sammy Zahorik

Juniors: Grace Jaworski, Molli Tyska

Sophomores: Emma Burden, Sam Mallahan, Jordan Novy

Freshmen: Katie Penn, Grace Wetoska

Picture above (top to bottom, left to right): Sammy Zahorik, Kiley Murnane, Grace Jaworski, Malia Burden, Jordan Novy, Katie Penn, Sam Mallahan, Margot Browne, Ellie Cullen, Molli Tyska, Reilly Collins, Molly Lynch, Emma burden, Grace Wetoska