The Student News Site of Utica University

The Tangerine

The Student News Site of Utica University

The Tangerine

The Student News Site of Utica University

The Tangerine

Utica’s dance team brings entertainment and spirit to university and local events

Photo of Utica University’s Dance Team courtesy of Ciara Parrish.

The Utica University Dance team was created in 2018 and took big steps this year by bringing excitement to university events.

The team performs at all home games for the men’s hockey team and at other sporting events including halftime shows at football games and men’s and women’s basketball games as well as other campus events, such as the Unity Walk and Chi Beta Sigma’s Airband.

According to Teylor Rose Buck, a junior who joined the team two years ago and has been a dancer for 17 years, dancers don’t often have the chance to continue performing in college and the team offered her “a place to grow as a dancer and person and to be involved with campus life.”

“Starting college as a commuter student was daunting and trying to find a place, my place, where I felt comfortable seemed very overwhelming but with the dance team, it all fell into place for me,” Buck said.

Team coach Ciara Parrish said the team’s mission is to continue their love of dance into their college years.

“Our goal is to have fun, create a sense of school spirit and Pioneer pride at athletic games, events on campus and in the Utica community,” Parrish said.

The dance team hosts auditions during the first week of the fall semester and the team is formed within two days by the captains with help from the choreographer. Currently, there are 14 members on the team.

“There are no specific skill requirements needed to audition, but a basic background in dance is ideal,” Parrish said.

Dancers must put in many hours to learn new choreography for multiple routines while perfecting their skills and creating an outstanding dance experience for the audience.

In addition to performing on campus, the team also participates in dance competitions. On April 20, Utica hosted a showcase in the Clark Athletic Center and on March 2, the girls hit the road for an exciting day of dance at the Brockport Collegiate Dance Competition.

“It was an amazing, fun experience for our Utica dancers,” Parrish said. “We competed against nine teams, including schools like SUNY Brockport, Nazareth, Cortland, Fredonia, Niagara, Oneonta State and some others.”

The dance team also holds a variety of fundraisers throughout the year that are important to their operation, and will host Pie-A-Dancer Fundraiser on Friday, April 26 from noon – 4 p.m. in Strebel Student Center.

Buck said it’s nice to have people to lean on and the team welcomes that with open arms. 

She added: “The dance team represents what it means to be a team so well in my opinion. The girls on this team are creative, inspiring, supportive and have taught me so much.”

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