Digging the Dancing Queen!
February 8, 2018|Posted in: On Campus
Emily Curtis is a junior from Merrimack, New Hampshire studying Political Science. She’s had a fantastic time on the AU dance team!
Dancing has always been a major part of my life. I started taking lessons when I was three years old and I knew that when I came to American University as a freshman I had to try out for the dance team. Since joining in the fall of 2015, being a part of the dance team has been central to my college experience.
From September to the beginning of November we have our preseason. First, we attend camp to receive our bid to the National Dance Alliance’s National Competition. This a weekend packed with learning new skills, working on our technique, and being evaluated on choreography we learned over the course of the weekend. The weekend is challenging to say the least, but it provides us the chance to bond and grow as a team. In the following weeks, we learn the routine we will compete with at Nationals and begin preparing for Basketball season. We learn multiple halftime routines along with sideline dances, all while challenging ourselves with intense workouts to build up strength and stamina.
Basketball season is our busiest time of year, but it is, in my opinion, the most fun! Our schedules are packed with our usual three weekly practices, plus two games a week, and some extra 6 AM practices to make sure that we are ready for every performance. Our job is to bring life and positivity to every game from the fight song, to halftime, to the last minute of overtime. Basketball season is a time for us to continue to improve and challenge ourselves as a team to make every performance better than the last.
When basketball season ends, our season continues on and kicks into high gear. It is time for Nationals. Throughout preseason, basketball season, and on we work on one routine that we will take to the stage in Daytona Beach, Florida to compete against other collegiate dance teams from around the country. This is the time of year where our workouts get harder, the 6 AM practices more frequent, and our determination is at its highest. We host our ‘Friends and Family’ show with the AU Cheer Team where we showcase our routines to our supporters who will not accompany us to Daytona. Then, a week later we board our bus and head to the competition.
Nationals is what we work toward all year long. Each year we go in hoping to place higher than the last year, but at the end of the day, we know that we trained and practiced as hard as we could and that we have so much to be proud of regardless of how we place. The past two years we have been able to surpass our goals and are currently ranked 4th in the Nation in our division. The amount of time and dedication that goes into two minutes on a stage defines the type of hard-working individuals on our team. While we are so proud of our accomplishments, we know that it is what happens weekly in practices that make us the team that we are.