College Dance Team Central

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Idaho Dance Team Sees Resistance

By Cari Dighton - Argonaut
The Argonaut

After holding tryouts, finding an advisor and getting a team together over the summer, the University of Idaho dance team discovered their funding had been severed.

Because of this unexpected cut, the dance team has been struggling to get a start this year.
“I think they are doing a good job and I think the students should be behind them,” said ASUI Sen. Koji Moy. “When we have a dance team full of girls who want to participate, I think we should back them and give them air time.”

Moy, along with ASUI senators Zach Arama and Samantha Storms, has been working to make the dance team a reality.

“I think (the dance team) really does impact the school in a great way,” Arama said. “They are performers who honor our athletics program.”

ASUI senators started debate Wednesday with a resolution in support of the team’s quest to seek funding through the UI Athletic Department.

After the team failed to find support from the Activities Board, senators have now written a bill that, if passed, will allocate funds to the team from the ASUI general reserve.

The bill will be up for discussion during next week’s meeting.

“I really support the bill,” Arama said. “I think it’s a worthwhile cause and I think it’s worth supporting. It’s a case where the money we use to support the team is actually given back to the students.”

According to the bill summary, the money allocated by ASUI would help the dance team to purchase costumes, workout gear, dance tights and help out with other miscellaneous expenses.

“As far as where the funding is going to come from in ASUI, I don’t know, and we probably won’t know for a couple more weeks,” Arama said.

Arama said there is a certain amount of university supplied funding that goes toward the Spirit Squad each year. The squad consists of Joe Vandal, the UI cheerleaders and the dance team. Arama said since a portion of the funding for the squad had to be cut, the dance team got the short end of the stick.

“We are going to try to help them with that,” Arama said. “That’s our duty, you know. The students are what we care about. Even if they don’t manage to get money through (the bill), we are going to try and help them through the Activities Board to get money. We are going to do all we can to make sure they are funded.”

Another concern to senators is that UI is now the only team in the Western Athletic Conference without dancers.

“We are one of the only NCAA Division I schools in the nation that does not have a dance team,” Moy said. “We are the only one in the Northwest without a dance team. When everyone else has one and we don’t, we kind of look like a joke.”

Storms also emphasized the importance of the team to UI athletic events.

“Their sole purpose is entertainment,” Storms said. “They only exist to support athletics and entertain at athletic events. We need to help them get started.”

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