Wright State Dance Team | Photo by Diana Jaber | The Wright State Guardian
Being back in person has brought new life to Wright State University (WSU) and its students, including the Dance Team.
Adjusting to COVID-19
For the dance team, the pandemic presented unique challenges. Team dance is done best in-person, so members struggled with the transition to virtual practices.
“It’s a hard thing to practice over Zoom, right? It’s not very efficient to try to have someone play music and then everyone dances to it but it was better than nothing,” Lauren Miller, the dance team’s Recruitment and Social Media Chair, said.
Along with practices, tryouts were also virtual. Applicants had to fill out an interest form and go through an interview. They were given two routines to learn and then submitted a video of them dancing those routines.
This new format lacked familiarities from past tryouts. There was no immediate feedback about their performance and they were unable to meet members or see what other girls at tryouts were like.
Practices and tryouts were not the only changes. One of the COVID restrictions for the team was no overnight travel.
This meant they would be unable to travel to their national competition. Without practicing for their nationals and with few spectators at WSU games, their dance season was cut short.
Despite this, for some members, COVID was not all bad.
“I think COVID has been a blessing because it’s helped us get closer because there was that uncertainty, so we were kind of relying on each other to get us through,” Danielle Saul, WSU Dance Team’s president, said.
Back in person
After the shortened season and virtual practices, team members were relieved to be back in person this semester. They still have COVID regulations to follow, such as wearing masks during practice and staying home if feeling sick.
However, being able to meet the coaches and practice as a group has allowed them to progress quicker and connect with each other.
They were also able to attend a dance camp earlier this year in August, where they learned routines for their nationals, Universal Dance Association (UDA).
Along with competition practice, the dance team has been preparing performances for WSU events. They performed for the first time since last year at Student Union After Dark.
“It kind of just resparked, like, my interest in dance because it’s not very fun when you’re just by yourself,” Camryn Harrell, the group’s treasurer, said.
Currently, the dance team is looking forward to returning to in-person events. In previous years they have performed at WSU events, hosted fundraisers and gone to community service events.
This year they plan to perform at homecoming and upcoming basketball games. Additionally, they’re preparing for their nationals in January and the UDA competition.
“I’m excited to grow as a dancer, for sure, especially because we haven’t been at the collegiate level before and never thought I would get here. So it’s really cool that I’m able to do it with Wright State,” Harrell said.
For those interested in joining, WSUDT’s Instagram has an interest form or you can contact Danielle Saul at firstname.lastname@example.org.