Photo by Brenna Doherty
The Drake University dance team is doing more performances this year than ever before. The team will perform at one football game, three basketball games and Relay for Life, leading up to competing in the Iowa State Dance Team Championships on Dec. 2.
“That’s unheard of,” senior captain Morgan Meier said.
Meier said more performances will bring a lot of attention to Drake. She said that Drake sports do not have enough school spirit, and the dance team is one way to change that.
At the state competition, the team will compete against Iowa, Iowa State and Northern Iowa. Although Drake’s dance team is relatively small with only 18 members, it still brings tough competition.
“The reason why we compete against such big schools is because we are considered a university, not a college,” sophomore Becca Lewis said.
Meier said the team is not intimidated by the larger schools.
“We hold our own,” Meier said. “We tied UNI in 2008.”
This is the first year the dance team will bring both poms and jazz routines to state. Fourteen members will compete in the jazz dance, while 16 will compete in the poms routine.
After the state competition last year, former Hawkeye dancer Stef Shandri approached the members and told them they were too talented to be without a coach.
“(Shandri) wants to coach us, but we don’t have any money to pay her,” Meier said.
Unable to be hired as coach, Shandri offered to choreograph the jazz routine for free, which increased the team’s repertoire.
The team gets minimal funding from Student Senate. Each member pays $120 to $200 of her own money, and the squad fundraises for the remainder of costs. Last year, members sold T-shirts with the phrase “D+ and proud of it.” This year, members are selling tumblers for $10 each.
The team’s first performance was last Saturday at the Homecoming football game. The squad performed its poms routine.
2011-2012 ISDTA State Dance Team Championship
Thursday, Dec. 2 – Friday, Dec. 3
Wells Fargo Arena & HyVee Hall
‘Big Four’ category featuring Drake, University of Iowa, Iowa State and University of Northern Iowa