Dance team pumps-up the crowds
By Samantha Savaglio
Every Monday and Thursday from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Sports and Activity Center, a group of ten young women come together as a team to practice. Their goal is not to score points or utilize defensive strategies to out-think their rivals. Rather, they dedicate their time, energy, and creativity in preparing routines that represent and promote their university.
UW-Parkside Dance Team coach Megan Butler was on the team herself for four years during her undergraduate career here. She has been coaching since 2001 and is excited for this year's team members Christina Brzezinski, Elise Elmblad, Katie Gentner, Nancy Jaimes, Spencer Elizabeth Karczewski, Alyssa Kay, Kelly Ann Kuske, Brianna Mae Morgen, McKenzie Sobiesk, and Autumn Watters to strut their stuff. Working by her side is assistant coach Kristen Kornelik.
"We're an eclectic team," Butler states, "Some girls have strong ballet backgrounds, others enjoy hip-hop, and some have experience in pom and cheerleading."
The UW-Parkside audience got their first look at this year's team Nov. 13 during the men's basketball game. Emlblad, a returning member of the team, choreographed the routine.
Fostering a passion for dance at a young age, Elmblad wanted to continue to perform throughout college. "It is a form of art and a way to express myself without even having to use words," she says. "The adrenaline rush of performing for a crowd is indescribable."
Elmblad enjoys being able to perform in front of her peers and community as a way to promote school spirit. She also comments on the wonderful friends she has made on the dance team.
"Living off campus makes it difficult to have those 'college experiences' but being on the team has given me the opportunity to do just that."
Dancers perform during media time-outs and half-time at every men's and women's home basketball games. The half-time performance lasts around two minutes, requiring a variety of techniques and an incredible amount of energy.
Before a performance, Elmblad runs through the routine one last time, taking deep breathes to calm her nerves.
"Then when the music plays, I think to myself that there is no turning back now and I give the performance everything that I have,"
Each member provides their own unique experiences and passions to the team. "We're excited to gain respect from our school for all of our hard work," Elmblad exclaims.Elmblad asks members of the UW-Parkside community to "come watch every performance this year because you never know what to expect from us!"