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NEWARK, Del. --  The nationally-ranked University of Delaware spirit teams - cheer, dance, and mascot teams - are headed to the national championships next week but not before they showcase their routines in a special Spirit Send-Off performance set for this Monday, Jan. 9, at the Bob Carpenter Center.

The event begins at 6 p.m. and is free and open to the public. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.

The evening will begin with a performance from the Delaware Dance Team followed by routines by the Delaware All-Girl Cheer team, mascot YoUDee, and the Delaware Co-Ed Cheer team. The event will close with a second performance by the Delaware Dance Team.

The spirit teams, under the direction of cheerleading coach Rob Ellery dance team coach Nicole Zehnder, and mascot coordinators Abbie Martino, will then head to Orlando, Fla. for the UCA and UDA College Cheerleading and Dance Team National Championships on January 13-16 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.

The UCA & UDA College Cheerleading and Dance Team National Championship is the most prestigious college cheerleading championship in the country. The events are scheduled to be broadcast live online at ESPN3 and Varsity.com.

Delaware has been among the most successful spirit squads in the country over the last two decades. YoUDee has won the Open Mascot Division six times and is the defending national champion; the Dance Team is a four-time national champion in the Hip Hop Division; the Co-Ed team has won three national titles; and the All-Girl team has been a national finalist each of the last two seasons.

Delaware teams will compete in Orlando next week beginning on Friday, Jan. 13 with YoUDee competing at 6:16 p.m. in the Open Mascot Division. The UD Dance Team will take part in the Hip Hop competition on Saturday at 8:57 a.m. and in the Jazz competition Saturday at 4:57 p.m.; the All Girl team will compete in the Division I semifinals on Saturday at 10:15 a.m.; and the Small Co-Ed team will compete in the Division I National Championship on Saturday at 9:30 p.m.

Additional information about both national championships and full coverage of the events are available online at:  www.uca.varsity.com/College/College-Nationals.
MEDIA INFORMATION: Contact Scott Selheimer | selheime@udel.edu | Office: 302-831-8007 |  Cell: 302-562-5129