Story by Kirsten Fedorowicz, Saint Reporter
Photo Courtesy of Andris Visockis
For some, dance is a way of life. The Aquinas College Dance team is preparing for an awesome season. With their biggest team yet, thirteen athletes, the team has more possibilities and opportunities than ever before. The team is pretty young, with nine freshmen, but all of them have dance experience between three and eighteen years. The size of the team has allowed for more different kinds of dances, stemming from the skills and experience of the team. So far, the athletes have learned pom routines and Jazz routines. Soon, they will add a hip-hop and another pom dance.
“We have some really strong hip hop talent,” Coach Renee Richards said about her skilled team. “This provided us an opportunity to ask a couple members of the team to show off their talent and choreograph a routine to perform.”
The athletes work hard to learn these routines, occasionally having practices that last all day in order to learn their multiple different dances. As part of their halftime performances, they have also learned shorter dances to do during fouls.
“We’re already off to a great start,” first-year dancer Betsey Cook said. “I can’t wait to see where the season takes us.”
The team will start performing at halftime during Basketball games in November.
The team does more than just perform at halftime, they are also doing an exhibition for high schoolers in December. The team is currently working towards competition at Dance Regionals. With all the skills of the athletes, the Aquinas Dance Team has high hopes to succeed at regionals and make it to Nationals.
“Dance is an emerging sport through our conference, NAIA. This is such an exciting time for all of us,” Coach Renee Cavaliere said.
Competition dances are different than their halftime performances, with their own special theme that has not yet been released.
“We feel like we can accomplish this goal given our talent, competition routine, drive within the girls, and the determination to do our best.” Coach Renee Cavaliere expressed.
The team will compete against other college students starting in February. Nationals takes place in Florida during Spring Break.
The Aquinas College Dance Team Members are easily recognizable by their black sweatshirts, complete with embedded glitter stone names. They’re from different classes and majors, different dance histories and strengths; but they all share enthusiasm for dance.