Get to know your 2021-2022 Saint Anselm dance team


Courtesy/Eric Spille

The Saint Anselm dance team during a football game versus Bentley

Luke Sugar, Sports Editor

Say hello to your Saint Anselm dance team. Looking for talent? They’ve got it. Need some school spirit? The dance team will get you fired up. Craving energy and excitement? Look no further, the dance team has that covered too. 

The Saint Anselm dance team brings passion, intensity, school spirit and a downright good time to football and basketball games throughout the year. The team rosters 16 dancers each year. This year there are two freshmen, six sophomores, five juniors and three seniors making up the team. The two senior captains, twin sisters Mikhaela and Meaghan Daniels, lead the way.  

What’s really unique and impressive about the dance team is that the team is entirely run by the student athletes. The girls make their own routines and organize their own practices, unlike any other sport on campus. The dance team is also very competitive, holding tryouts once a year. Anyone is welcome to go out for the team in the fall and give it their best shot.  

Dance means everything to the girls on the team, and dance is such a huge part of each of their lives.

“Dancing gives me the ability to express myself in really fun and challenging ways. I love being able to do the thing I love with girls that I am best friends with as well. What is also incredible is that if you ask any of the other 16 girls on the dance team the same question, I can almost guarantee they would all give different answers,” said Junior Olivia Morales.

This group of girls is always hard at work, frequently rehearsing and choreographing new, exciting routines. You’ll find the team practicing Monday through Thursday nights in the dance room, which is downstairs in the Carr Center. Many people might not be aware of the huge amount of time and effort that goes on behind the scenes to make these routines.

“One thing people should know about the dance team is recognizing the dedication and effort we put into our practice,” said Meaghan Daniels.

“We practice almost every night of the week during football and basketball season, which means both in the fall and spring semesters. We learn different dances for almost every game as well, and sometimes have to learn and rehearse them within one week. Our captains are fantastic and keep us focused and on track,” Morales added. 

You can find the team amping up the crowd and dancing at home football and Men’s basketball games. The team performs dances called “sidelines” to keep the crowd fired up during the  game, as well their longer, full-length dance during halftimes.

 “We love cheering on the football and basketball teams during the year. It’s so fun to pump up the crowd and bring energy to the games!” said Meaghan Daniels. 

 “I love being able to support our teams, so always being able to be on the sidelines at home games is awesome. I love when we’re all able to get super excited over a game-winning touchdown or 3-pointer and having everyone else feed off our energy,” said Junior Corrie Ruzzo.

Camaraderie and a strong team bond is something that drives every team. And the dance team is no different. They have a deep connection and tight team chemistry,  which is essential while performing routines. Everyone on the dance team has each other’s back. One of the team’s favorite team bonding traditions is getting C-shop together after basketball games. 

“I think everyone should know that the dance team is all super close and it really is like having 16 built-in very close friends who you can always count on. I always know that I can call any of them if I need it. I think we’re lucky to spend so much time practicing together to get this close,” said Ruzzo.

Another big reason for the dance team’s success is their strong senior leadership. It’s important to have active, vocal and understanding leaders who can help the younger dancers get accustomed to the team and new routines. The two senior captains and other upperclassmen all step up to help out the younger dancers. 

“Having strong leaders is very important to make the team cohesive and willing to work together. The captains help to guide the other dancers and work to create a unified group,” said Meaghan Daniels.  

Dance is a challenging sport that pushes dancers both mentally and physically. It requires flexibility, agility and stamina. Plus dancers need to have rhythm, timing and keep in sync with each other — moving together as one.

“I think one of the biggest challenges on the dance team is staying strong throughout our routines and even practices. It can sometimes be easy to get distracted at times, especially during the craziness of sporting events. Choreographing and learning new routines is also mentally and physically demanding. A lot of people fail to acknowledge how often we learn new choreography and how hard our captains work to make new routines on a weekly basis, all while working to maintain our technique and flexibility. This requires a lot of time, dedication and mental and physical strength, which many people are often unaware of,” said Freshman Megan Maggio.

Dance is a high-energy, skillful and intense sport that requires a close team with everyone on the same page. The Saint Anselm dance team goes above and beyond. Be sure to support our dance team and cheer them on at next year’s football and basketball games.