Dixie State dance team dances its break away

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There may not have been school, but the Dixie State dance team workload didn’t stop for winter break.

There are 10 women on the team, and they practice four times a week, equaling seven hours, not including performances at games. During the fall semester, the dance team performs at all of the home football games, and now during the spring, it will be performing at the basketball games.

All of the team members’ hard work and practice make for the halftime shows and entertainment for the students and fans watching the games.

Charley Peterson, a sophomore communication major from Kaysville, is on the DSU dance team this year. Peterson said she loves the friendships she has gained from being on the team with all the other women. Peterson loves being able to hang out with women who share the same love of dancing that she does. Peterson is excited for this basketball season because she prefers to dance at the basketball games rather than the football games.

“The crowd is more intense and personal,” Peterson said.

Performing in front of the crowd and sharing the talent she loves is one of her favorite feelings, she said.

Jessica Jensen, a senior integrated studies major from Herriman, is the captain on the dance team and has been part of the team for four years. Jenson said the best part of being on the team is the lasting friendships she has made.

 “We become more like sisters than friends, and we are there for each other no matter what,” Jenson said.

The team starts its year at dance camp in July where teammates begin the bonding experience. They continue to bond throughout the semesters, growing their friendships while dancing at sporting events.

Jenson said preparing for their performances is one of the essential parts of making sure everything goes smoothly. The team makes sure to go over its routine two times right before it is about to perform. 

The first time the team goes over the routine without the music to make sure it is on count, then it goes through it with the music to make sure it is in sync. Jenson shared their pre-performance routine that they do in the last few minutes before their show.

“In the last few minutes before we perform, we cross our arms, link pinkies, point our toes in the circle, and say a prayer.” Jenson said. “After the prayer, we do a cheer (1-2-3 REBS) and get lined up for our performance.”

Every year the men’s and women’s basketball teams go to a week-long tournament in Hawaii, and the dance and cheer teams travel with them for support.

This trip is an awesome bonding experience not only for the dance team but also for them to bond with the cheer team, Jenson said.  

The two teams spend a lot of time together throughout the year at different sporting events, but the Hawaii trip allows them to spend quality time and really get to know each other, which is fun for both teams and will make the rest of the basketball games this season more enjoyable.

The Dixie State dance team will be performing two times this week at the home basketball games in the Burns Arena Saturday and Monday.