College Dance Team Central

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Dozens Audition for UH Dance Team

By Terri Inefuku

They heat up the court with moves the Warriors could only dream of and they're in the endzone more often than receivers. The Rainbow Warrior dance squad may not be a recognized sports team, but they're still star athletes.

And like any other sport, there are tryouts. Today more than 40 dancers, girls and guys, are hoping to make the team. Nearly half of them will be cut.

"I didn't eat any breakfast because I was scared I might get butterflies or something," said squad hopeful Deonna Leeloy, who is a varsity cheerleader and dance team member at Castle High School.

"He cuts people that have been on the team before so you know, you have pull up every year," said UH dance captain Jonelle Layfield.

The auditions are intense. Dancers must prove they can kick, jump and turn with grace.

"We like to see who has the technique in dancing because they do a lot of technique when they do the routines," explained Marcelo Pacleb, the team's director. "You can see who the beginners are and then who the trained dancers are."

Dancers are also tested on their cheering skills. Pacleb dreamed up the combination a few years ago. "Instead of just doing dancers on the sidelines and at halftime, we wanted to get them more involved with the game and the crowd," he said.

Once on the team, dancers practice three times a week and perform at all the football and basketball games. They also perform at the WAC tournament at the end of the season.

Making the squad is an opportunity of a lifetime for these dancers - a chance to show that they too are Warriors.

There's another bonus for the dancers. Each receives a partial tuition waiver and an academic credit.


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