Sugar Bears Accomplishments & FAQ

UDA College National Championships

The Missouri State Sugar Bears have been ranked top three in the nation by Universal Dance Association, and received a paid bid to the 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007 & 2006 UDA College National Championships. Each January, the team travels to Orlando, Florida to compete for the national championship. The Sugar Bears have placed in the top ten in the nation for the past 12 years. The Sugar Bears placed 10th in Division 1 Jazz, 9th in Division 1 Pom, and 7th in Division 1 Game Day at the 2019 UCA/UDA College Cheerleading and Dance Team National Championships in Orlando, Florida.

In addition to performing at all home football and basketball games, the squad practices an average of 10 hours per week and works to fundraise the money necessary to cover the cost of the competition and other squad benefits.

Travel Opportunities

The Sugar Bears have the opportunity to travel to UDA Nationals in Orlando, to the Missouri Valley Conference Tournaments, some away football games, and some post season basketball tournament games.


Sugar Bears Dance Team - Frequently Asked Questions:

How many dancers are selected for the MSU Sugar Bears Dance Team?

Sixteen dancers are selected for the MSU Sugar Bears Dance Team each year.

What are the academic requirements to be a Sugar Bear?

To tryout for the Missouri State Sugar Bears, you must either be a student at Missouri State University, or have an acceptance letter from Missouri State University to attend classes for Fall 2021. You must have a minimum G.P.A. of 2.0. Members of the Sugar Bears Dance Team must be full time students at Missouri State University, and maintain a 2.0 G.P.A. to remain eligible.
How often do the Sugar Bears practice?

The Sugar Bears have some summer practice and camp requirements. They average five 2-hour practices each week during football and basketball seasons, with additional practices for Nationals. Practice schedule may vary, and all practices are mandatory.

Can I tryout for Sugar Bears without attending the tryouts (for example: by sending in a video)?

Tryout participants are required to attend the tryout and at least one tryout clinic. If you have a conflict with the audition dates, please contact Head Sugar Bears Coach, Emily Dryden, at to discuss your conflict situation.

What expenses do Sugar Bears have?

Although the expenses will vary from year to year, the University has taken care of many expenses in the past, such as practice attire, uniforms, poms, and most Nationals expenses. For the 2021-2022 season, Sugar Bears will need to purchase specific tan & black jazz shoes, Sugar Bears jacket, briefs, nationals warm-ups and nationals choreography fees. Those items are all specific and will be purchased through the squad. Additional expenses may also include nationals costumes and airfare to nationals.

What skills are required for tryouts?

Attending one of the mandatory tryout clinics will help you to become familiar with the style of dance, method of teaching, and types of skills that will be required for tryouts. We will go over various leaps, turns, and other skills that could be included in the tryout material. Pom and hip hop choreography will be taught at the tryout clinics, and will be evaluated at auditions. We will also be available to answer questions at the end of each clinic.

In addition to games, performances, and practices, what other time requirements are involved with Sugar Bears?

The Sugar Bears typically attend the MarooNation Ball in Springfield, Kansas City & St Louis. Team practice and Sugar Bears Calendar photo shoot is usually held during the summer... date TBD. Sugar Bears are required report to campus to attend practices before Fall Semester begins, as well as practicing and cheering at games scheduled during Thanksgiving, Fall, Winter, and Spring Breaks. They participate in producing and selling Sugar Bears calendars, hosting a high school dance team competition, visiting kids at Mercy Kids Hospital, and participating in events for charitable organizations and community service. Additional practices and performances may also be required.