United in Dance
When athleticism, balance and flexibility are combined with grace and self-confidence, dance is born. The pointed toes, leg extensions and tight pirouettes defy gravity and make it a new form of expression.
Dancing in a team amplifies this with the movement of many bodies swirling into the movement of one singular body.
Dance Team becomes so much more than just dancing or winning. It transforms the heart of the person in connection with others and opens up an ambition to achieve as one united force.
This is especially true for the College of Saint Benedict (CSB) Dance Team from St. Joseph, Minnesota.
With a team of 70 women, the CSB Dance Team is more successful and passionate than ever. Following the 2010-2011 season, the team grew exponentially from 50 members to what it is today, prompting a number of changes, including the merging of two competition teams and the addition of a spring team.
These changes transformed the team’s goals from what seemed impossible into reality.
“I think it has evolved from being a club that lets women continue to do what they love after high school to being a competitive team of women who strive for greatness for themselves and each other,” said senior Marissa Rinowski.
Now, the CSB Dance Team has three teams within the team and varying levels of commitment: a football team, competition team and spring team.
FOOTBALL Dance Team:
The football team has the largest membership of the three teams with all 70 women dancing at the intervals of the American football games for its home university. Pom and High Kick are the two dance styles that intermingle throughout a five-minute performance full of sharp movements, visual choreography and high kicks. “I think what makes the CSBDT different from other dance teams is the presence we hold at our school. Because of the large number of girls on our team, we are able to create performances that are visually unlike many other dance teams,” said sophomore football team captain Kayla Schmelz.“We are able to create excitement and school spirit through our performances and put on a halftime show that makes spectators want to stay in their seats.”
COMPETITION Dance Team:
The competition team consists of the top 18 dancers at try-outs for the team the April before the next academic year. This team practices intensely from the middle of the football team’s season until the United Dance Association’s (UDA) College Nationals in Orlando, Florida in January. Pom is all about sharp movements and visual effects, as it uses pom-poms as an aesthetic component to the dance. Jazz is a more varied style and can pertain to lyrical, modern, contemporary or jazz-funk styles.
Pom Dance at UDA Nationals 2013:
Jazz Dance at UDA Nationals 2013:
SPRING Dance Team:
The spring team dances and practices in the spring from mid-January to mid-March and performs a hip-hop routine at the intervals of basketball games for its home university. First-year Megan O’Connor thinks the spring team was a great addition to the team.“Dancing at CSB is special because the girls on the team are so open to trying new styles of dance,” O’Connor said. “This is such an important quality in a team because it allows us to grow both as dancers and as people.”
Hip Hop 2014: