College Dance Team Central

Friday, July 25, 2008

College OTR Ranks Top 5 College Dance Teams

By Lady Scarlet (Chief Contributor)
College On The Record

College dance teams are popping up everywhere on television, the Texas State Strutters were seen on America's Got Talent and the Rutgers University dance team, SassX7, got booted off of America's Next Dance Crew. In honor of dance teams bringing spunk to scripted reality, we've created a Top 5 List.

Here’s a fresh crop of dance starlets who have more than spirit fingers to work with.

5. The UNC- Chapel Hill Dance Team
This dance team has an impeccable reputation on the, er, dance floor. Consistently placing in the top five rankings at the NDA/NCA Collegiate Championships, which is no surprise since the team meticulously screens potential dancers for ability, determination, agility, and overall attractiveness.

4. Brigham Young University, Cougarettes
Um, yes you’re seeing Brigham Young University here. Apparently, Mormons are allowed to wear short skirts when it’s for purposes of dance competitions only. It’s somewhere in the Latter-Day Saints code, we swear. Pushing aside all the Mormon jabs, the team is serious about dancing, taking the #1 spot at the 2007 championships.

3. Duke University, Dancing Devils
When it comes to dancing, the Dancing Devils are always ready to make it hot. A favorite of sports fans and dance team groupies, they always have a solid following. We will try not to imply that it’s because of the skin tight blue attire.

2. Miami University, Redhawks
Residing in Oxford, Ohio, it's easy to bring intensity to dance. Keeping up with the rest of the collegiate dance scene, the Redhawks must always be in shape. Besides having seriously toned bodies, the team is original and fun to watch.

1. University of Louisville, Lady Birds
In it to win it at all times, the Lady Birds take the title almost every year. They have never slipped out of the top five, ever. Over the past decade, people have just been waiting for their stellar coach to keel over. Till then, they will continue to dominate every collegiate dance competition out there.

Dancer Universe: Should Dance Be Considered a Sport in School?

Dancer Universe My Dance Place Blog

It is the middle of summer. That means that your dance studio is winding down your year. Either you are at Nationals now, will be soon, or you already competed, and are going home. You may have a few weeks off before your fall classes start. Or, if you coach, or are affiliated with a high school, middle school, or college dance team, camps are going on right now and your teams may restart some time in the fall.

Being a member of a competitive dance team, either with a studio or school, is a lot of very hard work. It involves conditioning, basic drills and lots and lots of practicing. The academic world has been debating the sport versus activity controversy for years, in various states.

I am very curious as to how you ALL feel about this issue!

As with most hot issues, there are two sides. It is not just an argument about whether dancing is as athletic as, lets say-football or basketball, but there are many other things to consider. Costuming sometimes is discussed, along with questions about judging versus scoring points.

Anyone associated with competitive dance teams know that serious, competitive dancers are very well trained, are extremely athletic, and are probably in as good condition as their varsity football players, if not in better condition. The girls are as fit as the boys. Then why argue about if dance is a sport or an activity?

There are a lot of funding issues that came along with Title IX. Back in 1972, this law was finally enacted that addressed the inequality in sports. Back in the olden days, when I was in high school, there were no opportunities for me, to play real sports in school. The only option was intramural basketball, for a few weeks during the winter. Not much to get excited about, especially when us girls were limited to half of the court, I guess so we would not overly exert ourselves. Afterall, we did not have any fainting couches! Excuse the sarcasm, but wow, what was THAT all about?

Finally it is illegal to spend more money on boys sports than for girls sports. I assume it took several decades before this could become a reality, as programs had to be started, coaches that had sports experience had to be hired, and soccer fields, basketball courts and gymnasiums had to be scheduled for both the boys and girls seasons.

Many women, and men, worried that if dance were considered a sport, maybe the funding would not go to support girls hockey or lacrosse or another favorite sport.

Funding by school boards is also a point of contention. Some schools do not allow fund-raising at all. Because they are considered a sport, they are budgeted new uniforms only once every 7 years, for example, as the football team. Because dance is really more like Olympic ice skating, where the look of the performance is a part of the scoring, how do you feel about wearing the same thing for 7 years? This is one of the arguments against putting dance team in the sports category.

In Minnesota, several years ago, the emphasis was placed on promoting athletic-styled uniforms rather than frilly, sequin and beaded costumes. It was a visual attempt to support the push for moving dance team to sports status. Dance team still does not have full sports status-I am not sure why. But it is very close. And now, more than before, anything goes in our costuming, except for not much has changed in keeping the dancers covered from necks to thighs. So much for athletic-looking uniforms!

Satin Stitches belongs to many different high school dance team state organizations. The best part of this, is that we are kept informed about all the discussions in regards to this issue. An additional topic that is related to this, is the discussion on new costume or uniform rules, and what might change.

Other states have also struggled with deciding if their dance teams should have full sports status or not.

I want to hear what EVERYONE thinks about this issue!

Ladies and gentlemen-let the blogging begin!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Former LSU Golden Girl Melanie Hebert

NEW ORLEANS -- Melanie is proud to call New Orleans home and happy to help her neighbors begin their day informed, as co-anchor of "NewsChannel 6 This Morning."

"It's a rare privilege in this industry to land a job anchoring in your hometown," Melanie said. "When I visited WDSU for the first time the general manager said 'welcome home,' and I just knew it was the right time to come home."

Melanie grew up in Marrero and attended Dominican High School and the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts. Upon graduation, she earned her Tiger stripes at LSU, where Melanie received a degree in Mass Communication with a concentration in Broadcast Journalism -- and put her love of dance to new use as captain of the school's "Golden Girls" dance team. In 2001 Melanie was also crowned LSU's Homecoming Queen.

She began her television career in Los Angeles at the nationally-syndicated entertainment news magazine "Extra" before she joined WVLA, the NBC affiliate in Baton Rouge, as a news anchor, reporter and host of a weekly public affairs program. There, she covered major stories, including the landfall and aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the trial of serial killer Derrick Todd Lee. Hebert also created and hosted two specials on the "Miss Teen USA" pageant and launched a two-week Olympic special, "From Baton Rouge to Athens," serving as Executive Producer and co-anchor.

Melanie moved back to Southern California in late 2005 to anchor the morning and noon newscasts at KESQ in Palm Springs, where her morning news team earned an Emmy Award for its coverage of the devastating wildfires. She also broke the story of a real estate scam that victimized dozens of people -- some for as much as $40,000. Melanie returned to New Orleans on assignment, to produce a week-long series on the first anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. While pursuing a secondary degree in Spanish, she followed stories beyond the U.S. border -- investigating Mexican dental businesses and producing an undercover report on black market pharmacies.

Wherever she has lived, Melanie has been highly involved in her community. Her passion for the arts has led her to serve as Director of Publicity for the Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre and as a member of the Louisiana Alliance for Dance. Melanie has hosted the Muscular Dystrophy Association telethon and has worked with Big Brothers/Big Sisters, the United Way and the Louisiana Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Association, of which she was a founding member.