College Dance Team Central

Friday, February 09, 2007

SHU Dance Team 'One Big Family'

By Mike Barrett
The Spectrum

As a fellow athlete, I know what the support of a great crowd can do for a team and how uplifting it can be. As an active member of the Red Wave, I have seen that one group of people is always right next to me, cheering their hardest for their beloved Pioneers.

Flashing their million dollar smiles and moves, this talented group of ladies has caught the attention of all of the Pioneer's fans.

Yes, I am talking about Sacred Heart's very own dance team.

Recently, I had the pleasure of meeting with some of the team's members to find out what the team is all about.

Considered a club and not an actual team, the dance team is one of the few teams that is in season all year round. With pre-season starting in August and tryouts and practices running until the end of spring semester, the team has some of the most dedicated and hard working students at Sacred Heart.

"Being a club and not a team, much of our funding for our trips and uniforms has to come out of our own pockets or through fundraising," said team captain Jackie Stephens, a junior and native of Ridgefield Park, N.J.

" Our last fundraiser was a dance-a-thon that raised us some money for nationals. We hired a DJ and danced for over two hours, earning money for the team along the way," said Stephens.

The team also donated a portion of the earnings to the House of Roses foundation, a non-profit organization that teaches under privileged children the art of dance.

With a roster of about 34 dancers, the team performs year round at home football and basketball games and also dances at some open houses for the university.

"I saw the team dance at an open house, and tried out this past October," said freshman Kate Poole of Torrington.

This group of dancers is made up of girls who have danced all their lives and planned on doing so in college.

"I have danced for 18 years now and I knew I wasn't going to go to a university that didn't have a dance team," said junior Meghan Duckworth of Cumberland R.I.

The dance team is the main reason why I applied to and came to Sacred Heart," said junior Andrea Davenport of Kings Park, N.Y.

Each routine that the team performs is generally a dance that is put together by the team's own members.

"Over the summer, we try and come up with new routines on our own and put them together when we all meet. All our routines are all thought up by two or three of our own girls," said Stephens.

Aside from the team performing on campus, there is also the competition aspect for the team. Each year, a competition squad of about 14 members of the team travel to Daytona Fla. for nationals. This competition squad highlights a years worth of hard work for the team.

"One of the best part about this team isn't just the competition, it's the fact that this team is like one big family," said Duckworth.

So come this weekend when the student body Packs the Pitt, be prepared for a real treat when you these ladies take the floor and show you how all their hard work and dedication has paid off.