College Dance Team Central

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Wisconsin-Whitewater Displays a Different Style and Set of Moves


DAN LENZ
Staff writer
Royal Purple News
November 08, 2006

During the late hours of the Williams Center, the pom and dance team practices four days a week, preparing for halftime.

Whether it is halftime of a Warhawk football game, when they are considered a poms team, or a basketball game, when they are considered a dance team, they are given about a two minute window to display hours of hard work.

“It takes a lot of time and a lot of hard work, that I think gets taken for granted,” said coach Dominique Leuzzi. Although the amount of time and effort given to each performance may go unnoticed, fans stay to enjoy the performance.

“When you’re out there, you can tell when people slowly start to leave,” Leuzzi said. “But people definitely stay until halftime to watch us.”

When performing during football games, the roster consists of 14 athletes, while during the basketball season it consists of seven. Current members of the poms team include coaches Becky Kusch and Leuzzi, team captain Carrie Morstead, Tiffany Dorsey, Ashley Hoffman, Jessica James, Rachel Kuklinski, Renee Lochemes, Aubrey Munsen, Kathy Murphy, Lissa Robinson, Terri Rouse, Kelly Schmidt and Danielle Zyvert.

Like any sport, this team feeds off the enthusiasm of the crowd.

“[The crowd cheering] makes it a lot easier and more enjoyable to go out there and do the routine and smile the whole time because the fans are going crazy,” said Leuzzi.

Events such as Homecoming and Midnight Madness are favorites for the UW-Whitewater dance team, but one memorable moment occurred when the setting was perfect.

While the poms team was out on the field in mid routine one game day, the music stopped as a result of a technical problem. Instead of calling it quits, however, the ladies continued through the performance by counting their steps.

“When we were done, everyone was standing up and everyone was clapping,” Leuzzi said. “It means a lot to us when something goes wrong with technical equipment and then have everyone supports us,” Leuzzi said.

Along with the excitement of performing before crowds of their peers; camaraderie and friendship are reasons for becoming a member of UW-Whitewater’s dance team.

“We are all really close,” Leuzzi said. “It makes more fun to be a part of it and you need to have fun, because when you practice late at night you can get really irritated with one another.”

Since the dance team doesn’t travel to away games, the only time they have been seen performing for the last two years is at UW-Whitewater sporting events. But on Dec. 9, the dance team will be in a competition held at the UW-River Falls.

“We came in first two years ago,” Leuzzi said. “We’re all really excited, because we want to win.”

The dance team would love to see people there helping them perform well by cheering.

“We really appreciate all the enthusiasm and fan support,” said Leuzzi.