October 03, 2016
After a two-year gap without a team cheering on more than just the basketball players, athletes can now expect to see the UCCS Dance Team at multiple sports and games this season.
The dance team grew to 20 members after their tryouts on Sept. 19, which is an increase from their usual roster of 14-16 dancers.
In addition to expanding the team, two men made the UCCS Dance Team for the first time.
“The reason we have such a big team now is because we had probably the best turnout at tryouts this year that we have had in a while,” said Jennifer Scoville, senior economics major and co-captain of the dance team.
The dancers are a diverse mix of incoming freshmen and returning teammates, according to Scoville.
“The new members on the team are absolutely amazing,” Scoville said. “We have a lot of freshman this year, which is really good when you are looking at the long term team.”
Scoville said the new roster will be beneficial due to the amount of performances they will have at UCCS games.
“For the first time we will be performing at more than basketball games,” Scoville said. “We will be appearing at events like homecoming, soccer games and volleyball games.”
Sabrina Oparko, junior pre-med and co-captain, said they hope to influence UCCS by increasing visibility of their team.
“We’ve branched out and we are doing anything that the school asks us to do,” Oparko said. “We are always willing to be there, and we are really excited to start the year.”
Since the disband of the UCCS cheerleading team in 2014, the dance team’s goal is to be recognized as an official sport.
“The cheer team was kind of a liability for the school. When the cheer team got cut…we did summer practices, technique classes and train every Tuesday and Thursday to make sure we could take up the challenge,” Oparko said.
“We are only allowed in the Rec Center, which is unfortunate because athletics get to use Gallogly (for practice).”
Scoville added that while the dance team does not get the same privileges as a recognized sport, they are ready to take on more responsibility.
“Usually the dance team would only perform at half-time at basketball games only, while cheerleaders dominated a lot of the other sports,” Scoville said.
“Now that we don’t have a cheerleading team, people are looking to the dance team to fulfill both roles, and we are really excited to do that.”
While the dance team focuses primarily on routines that incorporate jazz or hip-hop in their routines, Scoville said that the team’s primary goal is to inspire the crowd through music however possible.
“The main point of the dance team is to hype up the crowd at sporting events and increase school spirit,” Scoville said.