The St. Ambrose University Dance team has an impeccable reputation revolving around two back-to-back state championships and a national runner-up position. This year, the team is very excited for what is to come. One of the main goals of the season is to emphasize the skill from each individual dancer and combine it with an unbreakable team bond.
Senior Captain of the White Squad and homecoming queen, Careonna Pitchford, has danced for all four years at SAU. She expressed growing as a team socially and performance wise, will create a sense of community across the board.
“My expectations for the season is to have a team that is comfortable with everyone, to have minimal drama and distractions, and to give it our all at every sports event and competition we have,” Pitchford said. “We need to grow both individually and as a team. We need to make it count. Honestly I would tell all the dancers who are younger than me that they need to make all your years count because they are limited.”
With the record that the SAU Dance Team has, it can be assumed that there is immense hard work and dedication throughout the season. The team has to balance: early work out sessions, classes and extensive practices. As the team practices all year round, it is important to acknowledge how the dance team juggles many different obstacles.
“In our first phase of conditioning we try to strengthen our entire body by doing cardio and workouts revolving around arms and legs,” Pitchford said. “The main thing is we need to have our minds and bodies in the right place. Everyday we work as hard as we can in hopes to defend our title again this year.”
The SAU Dance team not only has goals for the season, but they have goals to help the community as well. Bee The Difference Day, which is an event hosted by St. Ambrose, where students lend their services around the Davenport area. All three SAU dance teams come together to complete tasks such as raking leaves, mowing lawns and much more. Essentially this is to show that the university is more than an institution, but an asset to the community. The Dance team does an amazing job of helping out each year in multiple service projects.
“As a leader and captain I like to emphasize the importance of getting along and communicating in each project and practice we have,” Pitchford said. “That is one of the most important parts of building a positive team atmosphere in my opinion.”
Freshman, Lizzie Kann, has enlightened the dance team with a positive attitude and willingness to put the work in. As a new member of the team, Kann came into the season with an open mind. She explains that the team as a whole has already left a promising impression as the excitement of competition season grows.
“I wasn’t sure about dancing in college, but I am so glad that I did. On the White Squad I feel like we all enjoy being around each other and that brings out the best in a team,” Kann said. “In the two months that I have been here I have already seen improvement in myself as well as my teammates.”
Within her total of thirteen years in dance, Kann has high hopes for her first season. Not only is the winning record a goal to sustain, but Kann emphasizes how a positive team bond can lead to great success.
“We have a lot to back up from the prior seasons, but I am excited to work as hard as I can and hopefully we gain three 1st place trophies.”
Come see the SAU Dance Team during their halftime performance at the next home football game, October 8th at 1 p.m. at Brady Street Stadium.