College Dance Team Central

Friday, November 07, 2008

Lewis & Clark Dance Team Kicks Into Public View

by Sean Wilson-Shafer
The Pioneer Log

In its first year, the Lewis & Clark College Dance Team takes on the mission of making dance prominent on campus. Although relatively unestablished, the Dance Team is working hard to get ready for future sporting events and hopefully a show in the spring.

Many students may be confused as to exactly what the Dance Team is.

“The Dance Team is a performance group,” said Catherine Steitzer (’10), a member of the Dance Team. “It’s a student response to the lack of dance opportunities on campus.”

Steitzer and another member of the Dance Team, Mara Pfneisl (’10), both add that the group brings more of a constant and permanent presence of dance to the campus. Before the Dance Team was formed in the Spring of 2008, Dance Extravaganza was the only other dance related outlet on campus. The members of the Dance Team are hoping to carry on the excitement that comes from Dance Extravaganza and keep it going all year long.

The group practices twice a week to get ready for their performances. They are choreographed by Jamie Cassutt (’07), an alumni of LC. Cassutt choreographs and arranges all of the dances and is responsible for the groups overall style.

Pfneisl explains that the team’s style is very jazzy and they are trying to learn “technical dances.” At each practice, they work on these skills and focus on their semester goal of performing at the home football and basketball games. In order to accomplish this, the group always needs space to practice, which according to Kelsey Domann (’11), is a “big challenge.” Domann is in charge of finding practice space for the team and explains that because the team is new, it is hard to become established on campus.

To date, the Dance Team has performed once. They danced at halftime of the LC Homecoming football game to Guns and Roses’ “Welcome to the Jungle”. Members of the team explain that the conditions weren’t the best for an inaugural performance.

“Despite the fact that our music was inaudible and the only time it rained that day was the three minutes and 50 seconds we performed, we had an excellent time,” said Domann. “It felt as though we were well received by the student body.”

Energized by the completion of their first performance, the dance team is ready to go back out and make themselves prominent on campus. The next performance will take place at the Nov. 1 game, where they will dance to “Thriller” by Michael Jackson

Besides their next performance, the dance team is excited for what’s to come. They plan to have other performances besides the ones at sporting events; ones that focus on the Dance Team itself. Additionally, they hope in the future to compete against other schools. Besides performances, the group is focused on diversifying their style.

As the team begins to gain prominence, Steitzer wants to tear down any misconceptions.

“We are not cheerleaders,” Steitzer said, “The LC Dance Team is a group of dedicated dancers looking to become established and well-recognized on campus.”

“Right now, dance at LC is an afterthought,” said Pfneisl. “We are looking to change that.”

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