By Maggie Geolat
If you are looking for a group of people to show unconditional support, enthusiasm, and drive, look no further than to our CSU-Pueblo dance team. Our dance team constantly spends their time choreographing and practicing new routines, no matter if it is football, basketball, or at one of the many other events they show support for. This support led them all the way to the national spotlight this past week, and allowed them to place third among the heavy competition.
The dance team has an undeniable drive when it comes to each performance. They show commitment to their trade, and get the audience excited for each game they are in attendance at. This energy is what led senior Tori Rushing to try out for the team.
“I found out about the dance team because I used to work at Starbucks and my coach came through (there all) of the time,” Rushing said. “We got to talking one day about it and she gave me a try out.”
Rushing has been dancing for 17 years and realized how great of a fit the team would be for her. The passion for the dance team that she has is contagious, and she has since then become the captain of the team.
The dance team has been competing at the national level for three years. In the past, the team has competed in the open category of competition and has placed sixth and eighth, consecutively.
The third place win that the team took home this year was through competing in the hip-hop category. Rushing says “For nationals this year we choreographed our own routine in only a month and placed third against some of the top hip hop teams in the nation. Teams typically hire a choreographer and practice the whole year so we were proud of what we brought.”
For sophomore Hope Guerrero, there is excitement and opportunity behind the third place finish. “We are all so excited about placing and we hope the success will get the dance team more recognition and credit,” Guerrero said. “We worked really hard and are glad that the hard work and dedication didn’t go unnoticed.”
The team this year was the biggest that the program has ever seen. The hope is that this national recognition will continue to build a stronger team every year.
Some of the changes that have taken place have been in the style of dance that the team has aligned with. Rushing noted “When I tried out as a freshman the team was completely jazz. I felt the crowd would enjoy the performances more if we incorporated hip hop.”
The incorporation of hip-hop, unique choreography and a strong team base have led our CSU-Pueblo dance team to succeed and be competitive at the national level. Next time you are at a sporting event, make sure you show support for the hard work of our dance team.
If you are interested in learning more about the CSU-Pueblo dance team, contact Coach Vonnie Taibi, at (719) 549-2711.