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A love letter to the team that helped me survive college

DanceTeam1_KelseyMattison
Written by Alexa Mitchell

Photo Credit: Kelsey Mattison

At the final Men’s basketball game of the home season this past Saturday, the audience clapped and whooped for our final pose. It still had not resonated with me that this was our team’s final performance of the semester. The final game of my senior year. As I smiled and waved at the audience, while leaving the court, the girls, my fellow teammates, tackled me with the most heart-warming group hug I had ever encountered. Tears sprang to some of their eyes, and in turn to mine, as I realized what a truly spectacular phenomenon I was a part of. My team made me proud, brought out a smile on my face each day, and mostly made me happy to be a part of something so special I knew I would never partake in an activity quite like the Dance Team ever again.

Abby McVeigh ’18 summed up my feelings quite well for me, “We all bond over not only our love of dancing, but our love for being a part of the team too. We’re a family.” Ever since joining the team my freshman year, I felt immediately accepted into a group of girls that were similar to me. Having taken dance lessons since age three, bringing dance with me to college was an absolute necessity. When I found out the college I was attending had a dance team, I was thrilled. I immediately felt at home on campus, once I joined the team, performing for football and basketball game half-times alongside girls that had been in my first-year shoes at one point. It was inspiring. I was like a sponge as I soaked up all their advice, stories, and ideas for the future of the team. Audrey Law ’19 agreed that this was still the case today “From the very beginning the upperclassmen welcomed me, and all the first-years, into the DT family, and since then the relationships I have developed with the girls are like no other.” Another first-year Sarah Richer continued this thought, “I gained friendships from students from all years that I can definitely see myself maintaining throughout life.”

When my senior year came around this Fall, I was ecstatic to have been voted as one of this year’s co-captains alongside my longtime friend, Jaryn Waugh ’16. I thought my brain could not possibly fit anymore lessons within it, but I was incredibly wrong. Each member of the team, first-year to senior, taught me something new each night as I stepped into the studio for practice. Whether it was about how to properly assume my captain position, or how I should change a choreographed move to fit the beat of the music better, I was constantly surprised by what my teammates were still able to teach me after all the years I had spent on the team. I entered each practice with a smile, and came out with it still upon my face, potentially bigger than before.

“Dance Team is a club that doesn’t get a lot of recognition or credit on campus. People don’t realize we practice every night, we have morning and field double practices, and by the end of the week our time and dedication has paid off.” Hannah Murphy ’18 spelled out.

Dance Team has, and will always be, remembered as my favorite part of my time in college, and even though I will not physically be a part of the team next year, I know spiritually and mentally I will never quite leave the team behind. Miss you already girls, DT LOVE.

About the author

Alexa Mitchell