Behind the scenes with the ThunderWolves Dance Team


Tayler Zinanti, whose first year on the dance team was in 2008, knows that being on the dance team can be pretty fun yet consist of a lot of hard work at the same time.

However,when Zinanti, a 20-year-old senior mass communications major first came to CSU-Pueblo, she wasn’t even sure if she wanted to try out for the dance team.

“I actually wasn’t sure if I wanted to do it or not, and then I actually joined when one of my friends was on the dance team when I first came here,” Zinanti said. “She was like, you should try outso that first week school started I went to tryouts and I was pretty nervous, but they went pretty well, and it was a good experience.”

Photo courtesy of CSU-Pueblo website

“My favorite part about being on the dance team is probably just being with the girls you come close to everyone, work together and there is only eight of us, so we’re pretty tight knit,” Zinanti said.

Being on the dance team is not easy and can be grueling at times. Zinanti said  technique and getting all of their skills down to perfection and to have every dancer’s routine is a very demanding job.

“Everyone has different styles of dance,so probably just trying to be the same is the hardest part,” Zinanti said.

Getting all of your technique and skill down requires a lot of practice, and Zinanti said she is is up for the challenge of making sure she’s at her best when she’s performing.

“Practices are pretty fun. We practice Tuesdays and Thursdays like all the time, and we also practice on Sundays and then if we ever need extra practices, we will make it work,” Zinanti said. “We’ve had morning practices before and it’s not very fun but practices usually go pretty well.”

Despite the fact that the CSU-Pueblo dance team does a lot of activities here on campus, they have not been in any competitions yet. Zinanti said they were hoping to do some competitions later this year so they can become more of a competitive team.

For several years now there has been a stereotype going around that dance teams and cheerleading are not considered actual sport.. In the eyes of Zinanti though, dancing is a sport because of its athletic nature.

“I think that you definitely have to be athletic to do it,” Zinanti said. “It’s not something you’re just kind of like, ‘oh I’m just going to do it,’ It takes a lot of practice and a lot of hard work for it, and I mean it is kind of a competing team sort of thing. You compete against other teams with it so I can see how it can be a sport but I can also see it as an art form or a sport with competitions and stuff.”

Zinanti’s time as a dancer may be coming very soon as she is planning on graduating in May. But when her time is up she will reflect on her experience as CSU-Pueblo dancer as a good one.

“I am going to be so sad at the end of it,” Zinanti said. “But it was such a good experience and it really helped me grow to like learn leadership skills and team-bonding skills and it has just been a really good experience.”