The Starlettes Dance Team, of Saint Thomas Aquinas Regional Catholic High School, recently returned from Orlando, Fla., where it competed in the Universal Dance Association’s National Dance Team Competition.

The Starlettes competed against 120 small varsity teams from across the country. The team automatically advanced to the finals in the hip hop preliminary group and also advanced to Small Varsity Jazz finals for the second consecutive year. The Starlettes ranked the highest in school history in Small Varsity Jazz with an eighth place finish.

The STA Starlettes also earned a spot in the top three by receiving bronze medals and a third-place trophy in the Small Varsity hip hop category. This marks the first time in STA history that the Starlettes have been ranked in the top ten in two categories, school officials said.

“As a coach, there is no better feeling than the pride of watching your team transform throughout the year and truly reach every goal they set,” Starlettes coach Carley Cryer said. “For months and months, we worked intensely to prepare for Nationals, and it was so rewarding to be able to show-off our hard work on the Nationals stage. It means so much to each and every one of us, and we are so honored to rank so high amongst so many talented dance teams across the country.”