Dance team steps out on the right foot

by Scott Schleisman

Yell Like Hell provides a great beginning of the season forSimpson Dance Team, not only because of the large audience but alsodue to their interaction with the fans.

“Dancing at Yell like Hell was awesome because the audience wasso involved,” sophomore Jen Orchard said.

Other members of the dance team agreed.

“Yell like Hell is my favorite dance fall semester because noother time is the crowd so close and into the performance,” juniorNicole Carlton said.

Outside of the Homecoming Yell like Hell performance, the danceteam has only been able to perform at the halftime of footballgames. However, their competition against other colleges isapproaching quickly.

In January, the squad will be going to the Hawkeye Classic inIowa City. At the competition, they will be competing against topdance teams across the Midwest.

To prepare for the competition and get ready for the footballgames, the dance team has been meeting three times a week onMonday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings.

“Three practices a week is perfect,” Carlton said. “We practiceanywhere from three to five hours per week.”

In years past, the dance team used to wake up and practicebefore Friday-morning classes. This year, the dance team haseliminated the morning practice because it isn’t needed.

“The team is a little bit smaller than years past, and there isa lot of dancing talent on this year’s team,” dance coach BeckyGripp said.

“We work extra hard in the evenings to cut down that morningpractice,” Orchard said. “Mornings are not meant for dancing, theyare meant for sleeping.”

In addition to the new practice schedule, the dance team will begetting new uniforms this year.

“We have lots of new outfits including sparkly tube-tops,one-shouldered tank tops with skirts and Velcro dresses on theway,” Orchard said.

The girls will be changing their music as well as their outfits.Gripp and the whole team have input into what music the team willbe dancing to.

“We try to dance to a variety of music,” Gripp said. “Differentmusic requires a different style of dancing. Mixed-songs are thebest because they allow us to show off many different dancingstyles.”

When it comes to different dances, the team is split about whichstyle is their favorite.

“I prefer pom routines and jazz dances when it’s just the girls,but my favorite is the coed dance in the spring,” Carlton said.”The guys are hysterical to watch and are so fun to dancewith.”

Tryouts for the coed dance team aren’t till March, but the teamcan’t way for the guys to give it a try.

“The guys aren’t near as flexible as us girls, so when a guytries a toe-touch, I can’t help but laugh,” Orchard said.