Crimson Girls place in the top 10 at Nationals 

Dedicated WSU dance team competes in the ESPN Wide World of Sports arena 



The Crimson Girls placed seventh nationally in their jazz routine out of 32 teams in the country. 


Twenty young women make up the WSU Crimson Girls team spending almost the entire year together as a team. 

The Crimson Girls placed seventh nationally in their jazz routine out of 32 teams in the country. 

Payton Ibos, director of spirit programs and head dance coach, is coming up on her first year of coaching for the WSU dance team. 

The Crimson Girls are made up of women from all over the country governed under the WSU athletics department. They perform at sporting events and compete in nationals held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in both game day and jazz divisions, she said.

Ibos went into nationals this year with no expectations, she said. She didn’t have a specific goal in mind as far as placement went. 

Anastasia Trinidad, a junior at WSU majoring in advertising, is a third-year Crimson Girl and has been dancing since she was a little girl. 

Trinidad said Ibos’s coaching style has completely changed the program into a positive environment. 

“I feel like I can speak on behalf of the whole team that I’ve never had a coach that genuinely cares and wants every single person on this team to succeed, and that is Payton,” Trinidad said. 

The team goes on backstage before Ibos gives the girls a pep talk and hugs each and every one of them individually, Trinidad said. 

Ibos said the full team decided their goal was going to be “that feeling” before they took the mat knowing they did everything they could and there were going to be no regrets. 

She felt it was a very confident and strong way to enter as a first-year coach and as a new team, she said. 

When they stepped on the nationals floor and performed their routine for the first time, they hit all of their skills, Trinidad said. It was as perfect as it was ever going to get. 

“It’s difficult to describe having your words explained by a dance competition,” Ibos said. “There are no rules, there’s no touchdown, there’s no score.” 

Ibos said she’s extremely proud to be a part of the WSU family and to have done so well in her first year. 

They started to learn and practice their routine August 2022, Trinidad said. After everyone went home for winter break, the Crimson Girls stayed on campus and ramped their practice time to up to eight hours a day. 

The dance squad’s season never really comes to an end, she said. The team is at school from June to June because they support all the sports year-round.

Trinidad said it’s been difficult to find a space to practice throughout their season. Unlike other athletic teams, the Crimson Girls don’t have a room or space reserved for them. 

“We’re required to be at all these events where we need to practice for them, but it’s always a fight to figure out where to practice,” Trinidad said. 

The team, fortunately, found ways to have a  practice space, bouncing around between Bohler and Smith Gyms. She hopes in the future they can have the same opportunities as other athletic programs.

Dance is not really a sport that can go beyond college, Ibos said. Typically the athletes she knows only stay dancing for four years. 

Ibos’s goal is to help bridge the gap for these young athletes, she said, transitioning them into adults after they graduate college and part from the dance world.