CARLSBAD — City Council unanimously approved a Winning Team Grant of $4,100 to the Carlsbad High School Xcalibur Dance Team Jan. 24. The monies will go toward the team’s travel expenses in February when they will be vying for high scores at the Universal Dance Association National Dance Team Championships in Orlando, Fla.
This is the first time the Xcalibur Dance Team, a junior varsity squad, has ever competed nationally and was steadfast with a vision on how to get there.
The team has been Universal Dance Association West Coast Champions in the past, but they wanted to reach greater heights.
“At the beginning of the year, we decided that we were going to try and see whether we could raise the funds to be able to get the Xcalibur Dance Team to nationals,” said Mike Moeller, nationals coordinator for the dance team.
“First, they needed to qualify at a dance camp of June of last year.”
And the girls qualified at the Palm Springs Resort Camp.
City staff member Courtney Enriquez made the presentation to City Council highlighting that the $4,100 grant request did meet all the criteria and eligibility requirements. Enriquez pointed out that the Palm Springs competition resulted in an invitation to the nationals.
The travel expenses price tag for 19 team members and two coaches is estimated at around $27,909. Moeller said they already raised $23,813 of that amount. The team earned that money through fundraisers such as a golf tournament, ArtSplash, family contributions and business sponsors. Among its long list of business donors are The Daily News Café, Paon and Catch restaurants, Dance Unlimited, Pest Master, Pure Barre La Costa and Jazzercise.
The additional monies from City Council will be used to offset the costs and the unanimous vote authorized the finance director to distribute the funds.
One of the Xcalibur Dance Team coaches, Kaitlyn De Bus, said the opportunity ahead of them is awesome. “We’ve never been to the nationals so it’s been such an experience from the beginning,” she said.
De Bus described the commitment from the girls on the team as huge. “And they have given every bit of effort that they have,” she said.
Senior Sydney Moeller said the team is practicing roughly 14 hours or more a week. “I’m extremely excited because we’ve never been to the nationals, and as a senior, I am glad to end my year with this,” she said.
While in Florida, Xcalibur will also be supporting the multiple award-winning national varsity champion Lancer Dancers of Carlsbad High School. De Bus said that her team is excited to be joining them.
McKenna Aiello, a senior at Carlsbad High School, said she’s learned so much from the varsity team who has gone to the nationals and now it’s their time to experience it firsthand.
Xcalibur team member Kaitlin Mazzocco was brimming with excitement. “We are going to take the opportunity that we have and run with it and do the best that we can,” she said. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
Over the years, the team has performed at numerous community events and places such as the Kelly Carnival, ArtSplash, the Carlsbad Holiday Tree Lighting, the Homecoming Parade, the Carlsbad Senior Center, the Relay for Life, the St. Jude’s Walk-A-Thon and more.
Performing at the nationals is a huge leap and Moeller said the girls are a bit nervous, which is totally understandable.
“It’s great that our community and city has been able to help us get there,” he said. “It’s been a long journey and we are looking forward to it.”
City Council wished the Xcalibur Dance Team good luck while Mayor Pro Tem Ann Kulchin called the girls ambassadors of Carlsbad, which made the city very proud.