College Dance Team Central

Friday, September 28, 2007

Kyle Lavergne Blazes Trail With Ragin' Jazz

Let's hear it for 'THE BOY'

By Herman Fuselier
The Daily Advertiser

Kyle Lavergne likes to remind people that he doesn't bite, he's not mean and he's nothing special. Yet the first and only male on UL's Ragin' Jazz dance team is saddled with loads of attention.

Lavergne recalls one intoxicated UL fan yelling obscenities at him during a basketball game until the drunk was escorted from the Cajundome. Lavergne knows fans are pointing and whispering as he kicks and tumbles, surrounded by 20 females.

But Lavergne only dances harder.

"I'm pretty sure people say things, but they've never gotten in my face," said Lavergne, 20, a graduate of Carencro High School. "They try to mock you, but I'm confident in what I do and it doesn't matter. I just do my job. This is what I love to do."

Lavergne's love of dance has him in his third year with the Ragin' Jazz, the UL dance team that performs at home football, basketball and volleyball games, along with other university and alumni events. Lavergne has been one contributor in the team's success, which includes three top 10 rankings at the Universal Dance Association camp at the University of Alabama. The team will compete for the national title in dance and hip hop at the UDA championships in January.

Lavergne was team captain last year. But to teammates, he's "The Boy."

"I always come in before practice and draw all over the chalkboard," Lavergne said. "I'll write 'I love my ladies" and it says 'Love, The Boy.'

"They're my ladies and I'm The Boy."

"The Boy" has been interested in dance since the age of 3, when his mother took him to a dance studio. But the studio required ballet and Lavergne recalls his mom saying, "You're a boy. You're not taking ballet classes."

By sixth grade, Lavergne was a gymnastics power tumbler and began dancing in local studios. He continues to do studio work and even performs with the Lafayette Ballet Theater. Lavergne recently was cast for LBT's upcoming production ofThe Nutcracker production for the seventh time.

Like his teammates, Lavergne maintains a rigorous dance and exercise schedule that lasts year round. In addition to Ragin' Jazz events, most team members dance in studios and practice during the summer for camp competitions.

Lavergne can't imagine doing anything else.

"It's kind of like anything you have a passion for. It's something in you that you love to do, want to do and couldn't live without," he said.

"There's a lot of hard work and a lot of hours. I dance seven days a week this year. It gets to be a pain, with school and work. I wouldn't do it if I didn't love it."

Michelle Bernard, team choreographer and UL's spirit group coordinator, knows Lavergne's love of dance. But she was afraid "The Boy" would steal attention from the girls, resulting in a team rift.

That division hasn't happened.

"It's been goodbecause he pushes the girls, because they don't want Kyle to be the attention getter," Bernard said. "It pushes him in areas where he may lack a little.

"It's been great. Everybody at the university knows him. If they don't know his name, they know him as the boy on the dance team."

Chloe Angelle, the team's current captain, said Lavergne has been an inspiration. Angelle has known him since high school.

"When he was in high school, it was somewhat of a controversy because it had never been done before in this area," Angelle said. "I'm definitely glad to see that it happened. I respect him so much.

"Not only is he an awesome and sensational dancer, but he proves a point. He shows you do what you want to do. He deserves to be here."

46 Comments:

  • Kyle is amazing. He was one of my UDA staff this summer. Hes a great dancer and teacher!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 2:01 PM  

  • Kyle you are amazing to watch. I have been watching you dance since high school, eveytime Lafayette High played Carencro. I also have been knowing how great of a tumbler you are. My son, Mathieu, used to tumble at the same time as you. He tumbled with Jimmy Yongue's team. Your dad and I were both judges for the competitions and also both on the State Board for tTmbling and Trampoline. Keep up the wonderful job that you do!! Pauline Boudreaux

    By Blogger PaulineB50, At 4:59 PM  

  • Kyle you are an inspiration to me! I have been dancing for approximately 13 years now and I know how it feels to be ridiculed and taunted by the public, but to see you overcome that is definitely sensational! I plan to attend UL Lafayette in Fall 2011 and try out for the dance team! You may know me from Yvonne's Directions in Dance in Lutcher, LA; if not you know Meah Rheulet who was on the team with you! Anyway, I just wanted to say keep up the great work and hopefully we could meet one day! Dorwin (DJ) Joseph Jr.

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