College Dance Team Central

Saturday, April 17, 2010

UNR Dance Team Cut, Combined With Cheer

By: Juan Lopez
Photo:Brian Bolton
The Nevada Sagebrush

In yet another budget-saving measure, the Nevada dance team will be cut — but its members will continue to dance.

Holly Aycock, Nevada athletics director of marketing and promotions, said the Wolf Pack’s dance team would be moved into the pom squad as of April 24 (the date of tryouts for the cheerleading team). The dance team ended the year with 13 members while the cheer team had 29 (11 pom girls, eight stunt girls, eight stunt guys and three mascots). Under the change, next year’s cheerleading team will have up to 16 pom girls, up to four mascots, eight stunt girls and eight stunt guys.

Under this move, the Nevada athletics department will save $5,000 (the amount of money allocated to the dance team last year), Aycock said.

The move is intended to gain a bigger audience for both squads.

“We’re not eliminating; we’re just merging,” Aycock said. “A lot of times people will call our office and ask for the cheerleaders to come down to one of their events, but the dance team doesn’t get the same exposure. By joining the two, I think they’ll both benefit and the experience for both will just set a good precedent.”

Aycock, who said she brought up the idea to upper management, said no paid positions or aid toward the dance team’s members would be lost in this move. She said she’s spoken to dance team head coach Nicole Scott and has asked her to stay as a coach on the cheerleading team.

Kim Welker, spirit coordinator and head cheerleading coach, said she was happy with the move and thought the transition into becoming one team would not be too difficult.

“Dance and pom have always been very similar teams,” she said. “Now by combining the two we will have more talent and more opportunities for everyone to perform more and I am very excited for the upcoming year.”

The cheerleading team is excited for the move as well. Samantha Rice, a 19-year-old sophomore who just finished her second year on the cheerleading team, said when the two teams are made into one, they’ll be able to better fulfill their goals: to entertain and boost the University of Nevada, Reno.

“I think that the merging is a great thing,” she said. “I’m not saying we’re the same thing, but we pretty much do the same thing. Our goals are to support the school in whatever way we can. This way, no one else will step on anyone else’s toes and there won’t be two separate entities anymore.”

Juan López can be reached at jlopez@nevadasagebrush.com.

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