Sugar Bears Dance Team

Sugar Bears Inducted Into Missouri Sports Hall of Fame

The Missouri State Sugar Bears were inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame on January 31, 2021. Congratulations to everyone that has been a part of the Sugar Bears Dance Team program on this well deserved honor.

Sugar Bears 2021-2022 clinics and audition information

The MSU Sugar Bears are a highly visible and exciting component of the Spirit Squads at Missouri State University. We are dedicated to representing ourselves and the University in a professional, collegiate, and first class manner. The Sugar Bears enjoy the privilege of performing at major MSU sporting events, including all home football and basketball games. We are looking for committed members who are elite technical dancers with great performance quality, positive attitudes, high levels of fitness, and professionalism. Sugar Bears practice at least 10 hours/week during the Fall semester in addition to appearances and games. The Spring semester practice schedule is lighter. Sugar Bears also travel to the College National Championship in January. A GPA of 2.0 cumulative and semester is required for participation in any of the Spirit Squads.

All dancers auditioning must attend at least one clinic. They will also be presented a contract. In signing up for tryouts, you must agree to abide by the rules and regulations listed within, should you be selected as a member of the 2021-22 Sugar Bears Dance Team. The contract will be read through and signed on Day 2 of auditions. Auditions are open to incoming freshman, transfer students, and current MSU students. You must have been accepted to MSU in order to audition prior to the audition date. Judges decisions are final.

Clinic details

  • Dates:
    • May 2, 1-3 p.m.: Open to all dancers auditioning and high school students.
    • May 15, 1-3 p.m.: Open to all dancers auditioning and high school students.
  • Fee: $25 (one time fee for 2021, may attend both clinics for the one fee; material is the same at both clinics)
  • Medical release form must be completed for all attending clinics.
  • Reserving a spot: Please fill out this online reservation form so we know we can expect you for the virtual clinics. However, registration is not complete until we receive your payment of $25 (or full $50 if auditioning) and medical release forms. Links to join the virtual clinic will be sent within the days prior to the clinic. Payments and/or waivers should be sent to:
    Emily Dryden - Hammons Student Center
    901 S. National Ave.
    Springfield, MO 65897

All high school-aged dancers are welcome to attend clinics. Those auditioning for the 2021-2022 season must attend at least one clinic. Attendance will be noted during clinics and cameras must be turned on. You may attend both clinics (for the 1-time fee), although the material taught is the same at both clinics. Material learned at clinics will be used on audition weekend. At clinics we will practice collegiate level technical skills and elements as well as learn Pom and Hip Hop combinations which will be utilized audition weekend. Each clinic will end with a Q&A session which can include any questions about auditions, being a Sugar Bear, or adjusting to life at MSU.

If auditioning, you will find details about try out weekend below. Please read through thoroughly. If you happen to still have questions about auditions, please hold them until our Q&A session at the end of clinics. If you have a question, most likely others do too, so everyone can hear the answer this way. If your question is personal and pressing, you may contact Emily Dryden at

Download the Tryout Application

Download the Release Form

Those attending clinics only (not auditioning) must bring completed medical release forms and a photocopy of their health insurance to clinics.

Audition weekend details

  • Dates: May 22 & 23, 2021. 8 a.m. - TBD
  • Where: Hammons Student Center, Missouri State University, West Court (campus map)
  • Fee: $25 ($50 total if attending a clinic and auditioning)
  • Plan on bringing lunch/snacks and water with you for Day 1.

The following schedule is a tentative order of events for each day.


8 a.m. - Check-in begins. Dancers can begin warming up on their own.

8:30 a.m. - Warm up and across the floor.

9:15 a.m. - Begin learning jazz/contemporary choreography.

11 a.m. - Begin jazz/contemporary audition in pairs.

Noon - Judges lunch break.

12:30 p.m. - Pom review/warm up.

12:45 p.m. - Pom audition in pairs.

***A preliminary cut will be made Saturday evening and announced here on our webpage.


8 a.m. - Check-in begins. Dancers can begin warming up on their own.

8:30 a.m. - Review contract.

8:45 a.m. - Learn sidelines/game material; will perform this in large groups.

9:15 a.m. - Quick review of jazz/contemporary and perform in small groups.

9:45 a.m. - Hip hop review/warm up.

10 a.m. - Hip hop auditions in pairs.

10:45 a.m. - Begin solo auditions with interview.


Hair: On Saturday, hair should be pulled back and secure (don’t want it falling out all the time) while learning and performing during auditions. On Sunday, please wear some or all of your hair down in the morning. Have it styled as you might for a game (can be all down, half-up-half-down, braid on the side, etc.). Once we begin jazz/hip hop, please pull it back. For solos, you may wear your hair however you wish.

Makeup: “Performance” makeup is requested. This meaning makeup you would wear on the sidelines. This is often not as bold as stage makeup, but often includes foundation, blush, eye shadow, fake lashes and lipstick. Choose makeup that complements your skin tone.

Attire: A bra top of any color and black fitted dance shorts should be worn for the entire audition process. Please wear the same bra top on Day 1 and 2.


Hair: Throughout the weekend, hair should be styled or pulled back and secure if you have long hair (don’t want it falling out all the time) while learning and performing during auditions.

Makeup: Makeup for males is not required if it is not something normally worn.

Attire: A fitted sleeveless or short-sleeved athletic top of any color and black shorts should be worn for the entire audition process. Please wear the same top on Day 1 and 2.

All Dancers

Masks: Please have a mask that is comfortable for dancing in. During actual auditions in front of the judges, dancers will remove masks.

Footwear: Tan half shoes or jazz shoes should be worn for most of the audition process. Tennis shoes/sneakers can be worn for hip hop.

Jewelry: Stud earrings are allowed, but please take out or put spacers in other body piercings, such as belly button or nose rings.

Tattoos: All tattoos should be covered by bandage, makeup or flesh-colored grip wrap.


All finalists will perform a solo on Day 2. Pick a genre and skills that highlight your strengths. Be sure to perform! This is your time to really show your unique personality and talents. Do not wear a separate outfit for solos. Wear your same audition apparel. Music should be on a device (such as phone or iPad). You will bring this device into the audition room when it is your turn. Devices should be on airplane mode with volume turned all the way up. Ideally have the music downloaded onto the device rather than playing off the internet in case of bad connection. Solos should be 60 seconds max and include the following skills/elements:

  • Quadruple pirouette in parallel posse.
  • At least 2 8-count turn combination in second position. Try to incorporate complex elements such as changing spots, various arm positions, various leg positions, etc.
  • Center leap.
  • An acro/tumbling element (aerials are encouraged, but stay true to your level of skill (Examples: handsprings, variations of cartwheels, handstands, stalls).
  • A flexibility element (examples: leg hold, leg extension, leg hold turns, illusion, splits).

This is a closed audition, meaning no guests are allowed to be in the gym or waiting area during the audition. Only those auditioning should be on premise.

Technical elements to expect throughout the weekend:

  • Variations of triple and quadruple pirouettes (examples: pencil turns, arm changes, coupe, attitude, etc.).
  • Challenging turns in second position.
  • Leaps and jumps including, but not limited to: left and right jetes, center leaps, calypso leap, toe touches (possibly multiple in a row), fire birds, switch leaps, switch arabesque leaps, tilt jumps, spinning discs).
  • Leg hold turns (inside and outside).
  • Headsprings.
  • Kip ups.
  • Variety of kicks.

Those auditioning must mail the following in by April 30, 2021:

  1. Tryout Application (fill out ALL information & attach wallet size photo)*.
  2. Signed Release Form (must also be signed by a parent if under 18 years old)*.
  3. Photocopy of health insurance card (front & back).
  4. Current physical signed by an MD or DO clearing you within the past six months to participate in dance team activities.
  5. Provide proof of acceptance to MSU for Fall 2021 (incoming freshmen and transfer students) -OR-
    Photocopy of Spring 2021 schedule and printout of unofficial transcript from (current MSU students).
  6. Clinic & Tryout processing fee ($50 – make checks payable to MSU).

Contact for prom or graduation conflicts with audition weekend.

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