College Dance Team Central

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Feature On Former Sacramento State Dancer

Painting the town 'Allred'
Student Lindsey Allred leads the dance group for local basketball team, the Sacramento Heatwaves

By Charles Weinstein
Media Credit: Jessica Bright
The State Hornet

When you first meet Lindsey Allred, her features and toned physique might distract you. The former Sacramento State dancer was recently named the dance team choreographer for the Sacramento Heatwaves and has a lot planned for the basketball season entertainment, her life and her love of dance.

This is Allred's first time choreographing for a sports organization and she said she's excited to show the fans what her dance team can do.

"We're all about entertaining the crowd. We know how to keep the energy going," she said.

The Heatwave is similar to the Sacramento River Cats of baseball, only it's basketball, Allred said. The first two games for the team will be home games on Nov. 2 and Nov. 4, Allred said.

The game opener will be held at the Natomas High School Event Center, where Allred she said plans to show the public the Heatwaves' performance-style dance.

"We have a lot of hot and fun routines," she said. "You won't be disappointed."

Dancing is a dream come true for the 24-year-old biological science major, which is obvious from the way she talks about it. She said for her, dancing is doing something words can't describe.

"I really feel like I was dancing in the womb," she said. "It's all natural for me."

Allred started dancing at the age of 2. Throughout her career, she added jazz, ballet, point, hip-hop and lyrical dance to her repertoire.

She also loves to share her experience and passion for dancing with a crowd.

"It allows me to share my excitement for dance with the people," she said.

Allred's long road to success started at Sac State where she was a member of the Sac State dance team for two-and-a-half seasons. For her second season, she earned the team captain position and went on to earn her team a hip-hop national championship.

Allred said it was a huge stepping stone and an experience she would use to build her confidence and leadership skills.

"I wouldn't be where I'm at without it. It really helped me reach my goals for the pros," she said.

Allred got the opportunity to dance for the Heatwave through her former Sac State coach Jolie Roberts. Roberts informed her that the Heatwave was looking for a choreographer and Allred decided to give it a shot.

"I sent my resume and photos and I proposed how I wanted to run the dance team and so they hired me," she said.

Reggie Davis, owner of the Sacramento Heatwave, said he was very excited to have Allred on the team because of her background in dance and because of her drive and determination.

"She proved herself above and beyond our expectations. She's a great dancer and her personality and attitude were right for the job," Davis said. "She's very dedicated and committed to the dance team and we're very fortunate to have her."

Allred said she has many goals for the dance team this season, one of the most important is being more community involved.

"We want to go out there and interact with folks. If I send a girl out in the public and she can't articulate a conversation, then we have a problem," Allred said. "It's not all about the dancing. We're definitely looking for the total package."

The Heatwave dance team consists of 11 girls, and most have different ethnicities and racial backgrounds. But Allred said all the girls on the team have one thing in common: "They're smart and they're hot."

On top of Allred's schedule as head of Heatwave's dance team, she said she is also a full-time student and hopes to attain her pre-med certificate.

"Unfortunately, I can't dance forever. So I want to use my mental capacity to go into plastic and reconstructive surgery," Allred said.

Allred said she also has a part-time job at the Department of Corrections. She spent a year in college as a computer science major and works in the information technology department fixing computers and building databases.

"I just did the computer stuff on the side for extra income," Allred said.

With all the time she spends on dancing and her career, the former Miss Teen Yuba-Sutter doesn't have much time to consider her personal life, which is something she said she wouldn't mind changing.

Aside from dancing, Allred said she loves to stay in shape, visit the beach and spend time with her friends.

She is also single and said the most important characteristic about a man is intelligence. She said she can't stand guys who are arrogant and lazy.

"I'm super independent and I'm super single," she said.

Someone who is just as busy and independent as her is definitely a plus.

"I have a busy life so I need someone who can keep up with me," she said.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

UW-Fond du Lac Dance Team Kicks Off Season

Dance team kicks off season, plans several performances
by Jennifer Meress
FDL Reporter/Action Advertiser

The University of Wisconsin-Fond du Lac dance team is starting the season with energetic attitudes and team spirit. Coached by Tracy Schneider, the team consists of eight talented girls.

The team will be performing at basketball games and other athletic events in the campus gymnasium. The team plans to entertain the crowds with the innovative routines that they are creating throughout the season. Members include: Alyssa Norenberg, Allison Doerr, Courtney Froehlich, Jennifer Schmidt, Jennifer Meress, Dawn Rogan, Aimee Gleason, Miranda Ernisee, Jessica Serwe and Lexi Schumacher.

School-related fundraisers are being considered, said Shumacher, as well as competing in dance competitions throughout Wisconsin. Funds would be used to purchase dance attire such as uniforms and shoes and help in the area of advertising and marketing.

Schneider, financial specialist at the campus Business Office, is an experienced coach who started dancing when she was in high school where she became a member of the cheerleading squad. Later, she coached cheerleading at Oakfield High School. This is her first year of dance team at the campus.

“It seems like we have a lot of good dancers so far. I think we’re going to stick it out and last the whole season,” Schneider said.

“Last year it started off with seven girls and ended with myself,” said Schumacher, who was a member of the 2006 team. “I really hope to see it go all through the year and have everyone stay involved,” she added.

“There seems to be a lot of interest and great ideas so far. All of the girls seem very eager to start practice and perform at as many games as possible. I can't wait to see how the season goes,” Doerr said.

Practices will be held every week on Wednesdays and Fridays, lasting about two hours in the Physical Education building. For more information about the dance team, contact Schneider at the Business Office.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Kentucky Dance Team Camp Dates

2007 Kentucky Dance Camp

Don’t miss out on this wonderful opportunity! Participants will enjoy a day camp with members of the UK Dance Team. During the informative and fun-filled day, they will learn and work on a variety of dance skills.

In addition to the day clinic, participants will have the opportunity to perform at halftime of a University of Kentucky Women’s Basketball game with the UK Dance Team!

The camp is open to all girls, ages 5-12.

UK Women’s Basketball Practice Court at the Joe Craft Center (located behind Memorial Coliseum)
10:00 am - 2:00 pm • November 17, 2007
Check-In will begin at 9:30 am

UK Women’s Basketball Game at Memorial Coliseum
2:00 pm • November 18, 2007

Camp Fee:

- $45.00 per girl (This includes a camp t-shirt, lunch, group photo, and game admission for each girl.)
- Registration and fees must be received by Friday, November 9.


- Participants will have lunch with members of the UK Dance Team. We will provide a sack lunch and drinks for each child.
- Participants will be given a “Future UK Dancer” t-shirt, which they will wear for the halftime performance on game day.
- Participants will receive a group picture with the team to remember their day at camp.

Dress to Dance:

- On the day of camp, girls should wear lace-up tennis shoes. A t-shirt with shorts or comfortable pants will be appropriate attire.
- For the halftime performance, all dancers will need to wear black shorts or pants with tennis shoes and their camp t-shirt.

To download the registration form or to register online, Click Here

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Chico State Dancers Kick Up Energy, Foster Lasting Friendships

By: Sara Nielsen
Media Credit: Robin Epley
The Orion Online

The dancers line up and practice a routine, their feet creating a rhythmic and uniform sound on the hardwood floor. The performance has begun, and the mirror is the audience tonight.

Like super-charged female ninjas with a knack for fluid motion, these women do jumps, turns and moves requiring energy and focus at their dance practice.

These women, with a smooth mojo and love for the stage, make up the Expressions Dance Team.

With 15 members, the team performs at campus sporting events and participates in community activities.

"Most of our dancers have lots of experience and have been dancing since they were between 3 and 6 years old," said Kristin Carmack, the team's co-captain. "Dancers usually try out because they love to dance and want to keep doing it in college."

Tryouts are in the fall, and if a dancer makes the team, it's a nine month commitment, Carmack said.

Throughout the year, the team performs at volleyball, soccer and basketball games.

The women also participate in the Fun Without Alcohol Fair, a high school dance festival and prepare all year for their showcase in April, she said.

When selecting music for routines, team members pick music that is PG so it is appropriate for any performance.

"People get really into it," Carmack said. "Crowds will sing songs during dance routines."

The team primarily performs hip-hop and jazz styles, she said.

Though the squad performs at sporting events, it is not a cheerleading team, Carmack said.

The women only perform at halftime shows rather than doing sideline routines.

"We're very focused on the team, but more focused on the individual dancer," she said. "There is always time to show off. Each person has their time in the spotlight instead of group stunts in cheerleading, and by the end of the year, every dancer has improved."

Along with dance improvement, joining the team also builds friendships.

Everything about Expressions Dance Team makes it worthwhile, said Sam Slack, a sophomore on the team.

Lasting friendships are formed, and some past members and former captains come back to watch the team perform.

And because students run the team, each member has a personal investment.

"I love the girls, the atmosphere and the fact that students do the choreography," said Arianna Ibarra, the team's other co-captain.

Being on the squad is also a way to relieve stress, Ibarra said.

"Dancing is a sense of therapy for me," she said. "Everyone has a way to express themselves, and dancing is something I've done all my life. It never gets boring, and it's always a challenge."

With many members attending school and working at the same time, it's sometimes difficult to juggle it all.

"It gets pretty stressful," said sophomore Amy Muntifering.

She works two jobs, has 16 units and participates on the team.

"Sometimes I think, 'Oh no, I have to go to dance, and I didn't do my homework.' But it's a way to relax and a way of expression," Muntifering said.

The adrenaline rush from performing and the nervousness about getting everything right raises the heart rate, she said.

The dancers on the Expressions Dance Team are dedicated multitaskers. For them, dancing is a priority, and it is never sacrificed even in poor weather.

"We're going to perform tomorrow night," said Carmack, referring to a women's soccer game with a chance of rain. "We've never missed a soccer game yet."

Sunday, October 14, 2007

UWW Dance Team Is About More Than Just Glamour

By Julia Cherkinian
Royal Purple News

Football games embody the spirit of American culture. Roaring crowds cheer on their favorite team to a hopeful victory. Energy and excitement takes hold as the opposing sides battle for glory. Once halftime begins, the players retreat from the field and the fans settle down, casually mingling and grabbing a bite to eat at the nearest food stand.

Then, all of a sudden, the crowd revs up again as they quickly stand, whistle, and applaud. There's no way halftime could already be over. Then they appear. Several girls in sparkly outfits with shiny poms walk out onto the turf. The dance team becomes the star of the show.

To many, the art of dance is not a sport but merely a recreational pastime. After dancing for fourteen years and participating in various competitions, I can testify that this art form is no less of a sport than football. Dance chasséd into my life at the age of four and inspired me to explore ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop and poms.

During my sophomore year of high school, I was blessed with the opportunity to become a member of the varsity dance team. This experience taught me just how much hard work and dedication goes into a great performance.

A successful dancer must commit to hard work and lots of practice. You only gain as much as you give. A dance team or company incorporates many grueling hours of practice each week in order to improve and perfect their skills. Flexibility is arguably the most important ingredient to the success of an aspiring dancer. You would be amazed at what some girls can do because of the elasticity in their muscles.

A kick line seems graceful when viewed from the sidelines, but if you went backstage and saw the pain and effort taken to stretch and condition the muscles, a newfound appreciation would take hold. Stretching can become so rigorous that I remember days when it hurt to walk or even sit down. Bruising is a common occurrence from landing hard on your knees or performing various techniques.

During the summer months, my dance team practice began at 6 a.m everyday. The endless drilling of technique and routines accounts for sheer exhaustion not to mention a plethora of sweat. A mandatory dance camp pushes dancers to work 110 percent.

This is no Girl Scout camp. There are no milk and cookies.

Competitions take things to a whole different level. Everything goes into overdrive as practices are doubled and expectations increase ten-fold. The coaches are stricter and demand more than what was once before sufficient. A certain level of trust must be built with the other girls on the team in order to pull off a flawless performance.

Dance team retains this title because it is just that, a team sport. A bond forms, and the team becomes a group of sisters. Just as there is in football, dance team competes at a regional, state, national, and even international level. Numerous rules and codes must be followed or an automatic disqualification occurs. Just one bobby pin in the hair or trace of nail polish and the whole team's chance of placing comes crashing down. If one girl's nails are not short enough, the rest of the team suffers.

Blood, sweat, and tears all go into the process of achieving victory. Your heart and soul is poured out through your movements and spilled across the floor. Many define a sport as a physical activity that uses skill to compete. Dance definitely fits this mold. Next time you find yourself regarding those young women out on the field at halftime as some silly little dancers, think twice. Those dancers have just as much talent and heart as any other athlete.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Anast: Still Having Fun As A CEU Dancer

By Michael Babb
The Eagle Online

“The best thing about being a dancer is that no matter how silly you look or how goofy it is, you still get to have fun,” I heard Melissa Anast exclaim in class. This toe tapping, rhythmic moving teacher took time off and sat down for an interview.

Anast was born in Price and graduated from Carbon High School.

“Afterward I attended College of Eastern Utah two years and was part of the drill team here as well. I then attended the University of Nevada at Las Vegas (UNLV) where I received my bachelor’s in dance and my Pilates certificate.”

“After that I attended graduate school for dance choreography, followed by Mills College in Oakland, Calif.”

She advises Eagle Dancers at CEU, an all-woman’s dance team that does hip-hop and jazz movements that boggle our minds with their stunning dance moves.

“Well, I would hope that they would all be like that, I take my time choreographing the dances to my standards and my team’s standards. We do a lot of jazz and hip-hop, it’s really exciting fun,” Anast said.

Drill is a competitive sport, that takes endurance and being able to handle stress under pressure, Anast cannot be the only one working, she needs the help of her captains on the team. “I have captains, two of them, they help me with things that I can’t do alone, but the other girls help me as well, and are just as important. My two captains are Laurel Lemon, a returning drill dancer from last year, and Lexi Yelonek.”

The whole time being a teacher, Anast has to come up with so much, sometimes with very little. It’s always amazing to see what comes up next.

“I do all the moves, I come up with the counts and steps as well. The girls give input on the dance, I do the choreography and we all share the fun.”

Other than performing in class and performing in the games, Anast hopes to give back to her community for all the support they have given her. “Well nothing is on for right now, but I hope to do something within the community, something beyond the games.”

Being in dance takes the ability to move across the floor and work as a team instead of being just a one-woman show, Anast needs all of them to rely on. “I just don’t have one best dancer, they’re all amazing dancers. Each of the girls show different strengths and weaknesses, for instance if one girl on the team didn’t get it, the other girls will help her along.”

Anast has spent her entire life dancing. “I started dancing when I was two years old, I went to the Linda Johnstun’s Dance School, and from there I made up routines for my friends and neighbors. I was in talent competitions and other fun events growing up.”

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Cincinnati Dance Team Feature

Championship style
By Keith Jenkins
The News Record

Leaving behind a trail of pirouettes, split-leaps and fouette combinations, the University of Cincinnati dance team has garnered success year after year. Winners of three consecutive National Championships in the hip-hop category from 2004 to 2006, and one point shy of a fourth championship in 2007, head coach Lisa Spears and her 28-member dance troop have built a routine-spawned dynasty.

As the team strives to sit atop both the hip-hop and jazz categories, and prepares for another trip back to Orlando, Fla. for nationals, there is a lingering worry in the back of each of their minds as one of their own, Kristen Drew, fights a battle with cancer.

"We're going to go back and win it again this year," Spears said. "Last year we placed second in jazz, which is the highest we've ever placed in that category."

Spears, who was a member of the dance team at local Goshen High School, brings the same values she learned from her years with UC's dance team from 1991 to 1994. Now in her 10th year as head coach, her experiences have left quite an impression on her dancers.

"Coach [Spears] keeps a constant reminder of every little thing counts," said Jamie Cobb, third-year UC dance team member. "It's the in-betweens that count. The in-betweens that make the big picture. She's always constantly reminding us someone's watching and to present yourself well and just act like a lady."

The squad is hard at work staying in shape and practicing routines four, sometimes five or six times a week, according to team captain and Mason, Ohio native, Emily Greenstone. Spending so much time together causes the girls to become more than just teammates.

"They are like family," said Brittany Jones, second-year dance team member. "They basically are my sisters."

Jones, a Mesquite, Texas native and one of only two non-Ohioans on the team, ventured on the 20-hour trek up to the Midwest in pursuit of a higher education and to become a member of the award-winning UC dance team.

As an only child, having no friends to join her in the new environment or knowing anyone who was also attending the university, Jones realized a move to the Queen City would be much harder than she ever envisioned.

The squad has to constantly keep Jones on track and on top of things since she's used to her mom being around, according to Cobb.

Over the past few months, the team has missed a key attribute to its success.

Drew, a second-year dance team member and Cincinnati native, was diagnosed with leukemia in late July.

With a two-and-a-half year treatment program ahead of her, Drew is forced to take 30 pills a day and undergo chemotherapy once a week, according to Spears.

"[Kristen] is a great teammate," Spears said. "She unfortunately had to withdraw from school this year, but she's still in touch with all the girls. She finally made it to practice the other night."

With her visit, Drew was able to give the UC dance team a dose of her characteristic good nature and easy-going personality.

"She's definitely the clown, the class clown," Spears said. "Her presence is being missed. It was really hard on us at first, but I think everyone's accepted it and they've done their best to just keep her here. Every night we say a prayer and we always, always remember her."

Greenstone echoed that same sentiment. "[Kristen] always has been the one that's made all of us laugh and just keeps our energy up," Greenstone said.

Spears, Greenstone and the rest of the UC dance team have established the Kristen Drew Foundation, which is an account where donations can be made to help the Drew family with medical expenses, according to Spears. The team also worked a fund-raiser this summer for Drew.

On Saturday, Oct. 13, as the UC football team hosts the Louisville Cardinals for a Homecoming, Big East showdown, there will be a booth and boxes at each entrance where people can make donations to Drew and her family.

In addition, all proceeds earned from the admission to Bearcats Fan Jam, the official kick-off to the UC basketball season, will go toward Drew's cause, according to Spears

With help, Kristen can switch-leap past this obstacle and get back to what she loves most: dancing. That's all coach Spears prays for as Drew continues to fight.

"She's actually doing really good," Spears said. "She's got a great attitude. She's the most confident person I've ever met."

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Former Wisconsin Dancer With DCC

Dallas Cowboys job has its privileges

Melanie Conklin
Wisconsin State Journal

The last time I saw Kelly Jo Stauffacher was two years ago. She was the reigning Miss Madison, attending a MAGNET anniversary party and working a day job at Inacom as a marketing manager.

Now she 's living in Dallas, still working in the technology field, although she 's with AT&T. And her new side job gets far more attention.

In August, she officially donned the famous blue-and-white uniform of the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders.

In college at UW, Stauffacher, a Madison native, was on the Badgers dance team. But before Cowboys tryouts the 26-year-old hadn't danced much since graduating in 2002.

After a company she 'd been working for in Charleston, S.C., was sold last year, Stauffacher returned to Madison and was staying with her parents between jobs when she saw a TV show called "Making the Team, " about the Cowboys cheerleaders.

"I just fell in love with the idea, " Stauffacher says. "Once I saw the show, I thought, I 'm not done dancing! ' "

After April 's cheerleader auditions, she made the initial cut for training camp, which she says was difficult.

"We had to learn the jump split, which is something

I 'd never done before, but it is the signature Cowboy thing, " she says.

"What I was unprepared for, however, was the level of expectation. There 's no room for mistakes, no room for excuses. It wasn 't a typical rehearsal. It was always an evaluation. "

Asked if she gets recognized around Dallas when she 's out of uniform, Stauffacher says it is happening more frequently and the reaction is generally one of awe, something else she 's still adjusting to.

"The mystic, the tradition -- it is so big here in Texas, " says Stauffacher. "It 's one of pure respect.

"At my local Starbucks I get free coffee, which is good because I like my latt s. "

It also means Stauffacher has to "keep up appearances at all times when I 'm out in public. "

Stauffacher credits her mother, Karen Stauffacher, who recently retired as assistant dean of the UW School of Business, as her role model.

"My mom takes the bull by the horns, " she says. "She taught me well. "

While even veteran Cowboys cheerleaders have to re-audition every year, Stauffacher hopes to remain on the squad, which she describes as close-knit, for "many seasons into the future. "

You can see Stauffacher on this year 's version of the show that attracted her to Dallas. "Cowboys Cheerleaders -- Making of the Team 2 " airs at 8 p.m. Fridays on CMT (cable Ch. 72 in Madison). Or watch it at

Thursday, October 04, 2007

OSU Dancers Excited For New Season, First-Ever Boy

By Emily Gibb

On Thursday nights, while many students begin strolling down to the bars, Multipurpose Room 3 inside the RPAC is just heating up. Inside, the dance team works hard perfecting routines for the next pep rally, basketball game, or National Championship Competition. While they could be dancing for other colleges and universities on full-paid scholarships, they are a part of a sports club working hard for recognition and respect in the University and the community.

New coaches and talented new members are added bonuses to the returning members’ excitement for the new season. According to Coach Katie Perry, the team’s greatest assets include a strong technical base and versatile dancers. “They’re able to easily adapt to different styles, making them very advanced dancers. They also have great stage presence and light up when they perform,” said Perry.

Perry, a former OSU Dance Team member herself, and the other coach, Stephanie Garrett, say their experiences on the team make their roles as coach much easier. Both old and new members laugh about all of the bad experiences with music problems, missing costume pieces and the general feeling that they’ve been punked. “I feel like I can run things more smoothly when I have a good idea about the type of problems and situations that could arise,” said Perry.

They also have a good understanding of and appreciation about the time and effort that each dancer puts into the team. “I know what kind of commitment it takes, and I know what a challenge it can be, so I have a lot of support for the team,” said Garrett.

Being a part of any team has its frustrations and challenges, but according to captain and senior Amanda Parker, it’s worth it. “We share experiences that most college students don’t get to, such as dancing at a sold-out Schott during basketball season, representing our school and gaining a close group of friends throughout all of it,” said Parker.

“They are a hard-working group of dancers,” said Perry, “and care a lot about their school spirit.”

It’s all baby steps, but the team has come a long way. Evidence of that can be found in a certain new member. Brien Hartings, freshman, danced his way through tryouts and onto the team, becoming the first male member of the Ohio State Dance Team. “I’m the first guy on any college dance team I’ve seen. I hope it will inspire other guy dancers to join college dance teams, and it’s fun dancing with all the ladies,” said Hartings.

NDA Collegiate Dance Camp in Louisville, Kentucky over the summer was the first chance the team had to try out the new dynamics with a male on the team, and it’s safe to say that it turned out to be successful. They placed 2nd in the Team Dance Competition in Division 1A, and earned a partial-paid bid to the NDA Collegiate National Championship in April, held at Daytona Beach, Florida. That, along with several All-American winners, helped the team make their presence felt. They hope that the excitement and enthusiasm carries throughout the year into Nationals.

Fall tryouts are being held next week, Oct. 2, 4 and 6, giving more dancers a chance to be a part of the team. One of the biggest things prospective members have to make a decision about is whether or not they are willing to make the time commitment. It is made clear during the tryouts is that practices are held three days a week and three days a week are devoted to workouts, making it no easy “club” to join.

For those who are interested in trying out for the OSU Dance Team, but who missed fall tryouts, spring auditions are listed on the website,