Oakdale High School 2020 graduate Jaden Chau placed fourth place in a national competition with her UC Santa Barbara collegiate dance team.
Earlier this year, the UCSB dance team competed in the UDA, Universal Dance Association, collegiate dance and cheer competition at the ESPN Center in Orlando Florida. Over two days of competing, the squad was busy Saturday in the preliminary competition where Chau danced with her group in the categories for Jazz and D1 Pom. Their performance in the Pom category is what got them accepted to move onto the finals on Sunday to compete.
The team finished their performance and received fourth place, making them fourth in the nation.
It was the team’s first time taking part in the UDA competition.
Chau is now in the middle of her sophomore year at UC Santa Barbara as a Mathematics major. Besides cheering from UCSB she is also a part of the sorority of Delta Gamma.
UC Santa Barbara was always a dream school for Chau since she was in junior high; she fell in love with the academic side of the school but also the location, keeping her as close to the beach as possible.
She cheered for the OHS cheer squad for three years, from her sophomore year until her senior year, but was always a part of dance beginning at a young age.
“I love dance because of the sports feel, I love being an athlete,” Chau explained. “Nothing is more rewarding than finishing a two-minute, 30-second routine giving the best performance you can, plus your team is like your family.”
Chau was also the OHS Homecoming Princess in 2017, followed by Homecoming Queen in 2019. She also took the title for the class of 2020’s Distinguished Young Women competition.
“My mom and my sister are my biggest supporters, they are my backbone,” Chau expressed. “Me and my mom are inseparable; she raised both her daughters to be strong independent women.”