What it’s like being on a College Dance Team

IMG_9133I have been dancing since I was three years old, so that means I have been dancing for 17 years now…time flies when you’re having fun, I guess. And, as many other little girls, I had always dreamed of going to college and being on my school’s dance team. So, it was obviously a huge deal to me when I auditioned and made the Syracuse University Dance Team during my senior year of high school! Currently, I am a second-year member of the Syracuse University Dance Team and plan on auditioning for my third season this spring! In case you were interested in auditioning for the team, or you are just curious about what our team is like, here’s a little sneak peek!

Auditions The SUDT hosts spring auditions every year, which are open to all incoming freshman and current SU students. At auditions, you will sign in and get a number. You will then have time to yourself to stretch and get ready, before you join the group for a group warm-up led by our captain. Then, we do across the floor technique and combinations, and then technique in the center. After that, we learn a jazz/hip hop combination, a contemporary combination, and two sideline routines. We learn each dance pretty quickly, but then get a little bit of time to ourselves to practice. Then, we all leave the room, and go back in, in small groups, for interviews and to perform the dances and show our technique. You then find out about a week later if you made the team or not!

Nationals Our team competes at UDA College Nationals in Division 1A Jazz, the highest jazz division. We learn our routine during preseason in August and Nationals is held in early January, so we focus on our dance for the entire first semester of the year. Everyone is always surprised by our nationals dance, as we are really able to show off our talents, much more than we can during game day routines. We are incredibly lucky that SU Athletics allows us to go to Nationals, and we absolutely love competing.

Game Days Game days are the biggest part of being on the SU Dance Team. We go to every football game, men’s basketball game, and some women’s basketball games and men’s soccer games. We perform sideline routines and also full dances. We do new dances at every football game and two new dances at every basketball game. So, basketball season gets super busy for us, since there are so many games. Game days are very fun, as we all love getting to perform and interact with the fans.

Practices/ Workouts Like every team, we need to practice. We start our practices in the summer with two-a-days during preseason, which is before school starts. We also have two-a-days during winter break, in order to be ready for nationals. But, our normal practice schedule is Monday/ Wednesday 7-9pm and Sunday 10am-12pm. These practices are standard every week, but our coach tends to add in more practices when needed. We also have workouts with our trainer, every Tuesday/ Thursday 5:30pm-7:00pm. Our practices and workouts are super important, since we want to look good and feel prepared on game days and for nationals!

Appearances A lot of people may not know this, but our team does a lot of appearances and participates in a lot of community service events. We participate in community service events benefiting many groups, such as the Make A Wish Foundation and the March of Dimes. Basically, if we are invited to go to the event, we will be there! We also do a lot of personal appearances, as requested by our Marketing team, such as appearances for big sports donors and prospective student events.

This was a really broad explanation of everything that our team does, but hopefully you found it interesting and informative! Feel free to check out our Instagram or our videos on YouTube. Maybe I’ll see you at tryouts this spring 😉

xx Kelly



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