College Dance Team Central

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,