College Dance Team Central

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Dancin’ with the Dawgs

Albany’s UGA Georgettes share their love for dancing and cheering for their school.
By Ashley Hindsman
Albany Herald

ALBANY — For every member of the University of Georgia Bulldogs football team, there are probably tens of thousands of fans who watch their every game and celebrate their every touchdown.

But the women of the UGA Georgette dance line consider themselves to be a big factor in supporting the Bulldogs when they are on the field, performing at every home game and most away games.

And for Katie Raines, Traci Raines and Anne Davis, all Georgettes and Albany residents, being on the dance line has given them an outlet for dancing and has shown them the true meaning of school spirit.

Katie, 21, who is finishing her last year at UGA and as captain of the Georgettes, said she first thought about joining the dance line as a senior at Deerfield-Windsor School.

“When I got to my senior year of high school I couldn’t imagine not dancing anymore. Lucky for me, my high school dance coach (Sharon Presley) was a Georgette when she was in college so she kind of put it in my ear,” she said.

“I have been on the team for four years and I loved every minute of it,” she added.

She said one of her most memorable moments was when she traveled with the dance line out of the country.

“In May 2006, we went to China and it was an amazing trip. We did five shows and we performed in the Shang Hai Stadium in front of, like, 80,000 people. These people had come just to see us perform for an hour and a half,” she said.

“And of course there are really fun games like the Auburn game this year and the black out,” she added.

But her most exciting moments, she said, came after her younger sister, Traci, a 20-year-old sophomore, made the dance line last year.

“It had been a long time since we had been able to dance together and I thought that she was strong enough to do well at auditions,” she said. “I knew her skills and even though I had a feeling that she would be a little bit nervous.”

As captain, Katie was responsible for coordinating the tryout dance routine when her sister auditioned. She said she helped Traci to learn the routine and get over her nerves before she auditioned.

“We had practiced together a lot and even though there were a few things she wasn’t familiar with I knew she would do fine,” she said. “It was one of the harder try out routines we’ve had in a long time.”

Traci, however, said she wasn’t at all confident when she first watched her sister perform the tryout dance routine.

“Oh my gosh, I was so nervous. She said I would be fine and when I saw her do the dance it was the hardest dance I’ve ever learned in my life, and I was like ‘I hate you,’” Traci, 20, laughed.

Traci said though she was excited to try out, she wasn’t sure about her level of dance skills because she hadn’t danced since the eighth grade after joining the basketball team at Deerfield-Windsor.

Though she was glad to have her sister for support, Traci said having her sister as captain actually added more pressure on her at tryouts.

“The judges didn’t know she was my sister. I was about to cry I was so nervous. I would have felt bad that my sister was the captain and I still couldn’t make it,” she said.

But after she made the dance line, Traci said things got easier for her as she began to form close bonds with the other dancers and make memories of her own.

“Last year’s Tennessee game was our first night game it was dark when we started pregame,” she said. “We had the parachuters come in and everybody was taking pictures. I looked at my sister that night and I just kept saying, ‘This is so cool.’ ”

Davis, an 18-year-old freshman, was also encouraged by Katie to try out for the Georgette dance line during her senior year at Deerfield-Windsor.

“Katie was the captain of my freshman dance line in high school and she got me interested because she tried out. She was a major influence,” Davis explained.

Davis said though the practice hours can sometimes be grueling, she enjoys the benefit of managing her time more wisely.

“It was a difficult try out, but it was worth it, definitely,” she said. “It actually kept me a lot more focused because I was forced to structure my time and it gave me an outlet for stress.”

With so many memories between the three of them and the other 11 dance line members, Katie said dancing at the Sugar Bowl today as the Bulldogs face the University of Hawaii in New Orleans is going to be somewhat bittersweet as it is going to be her last performance.

“The girls,” Katie said of what she’ll miss most. “It’s just you spend so much time together that you get to be so close. Most of my best friends from college are girls that have danced here. It’s hard to say bye to the girls and just being in Sanford Stadium during pregame.”

“Not being able to be down there anymore, I definitely cried the last few games,” she said.

She said either way she is looking forward to meeting with the University of Hawaii band and cheering on a good game.