By Collin Atwood
Dance can be viewed in many different ways. Many people know dance in the context of competitions and as some sort of entertainment. But the members of the dance team at Springfield College recognize other benefits from being a part of their team.
Competing and entertaining are not the only reasons that the 14 talented members of the Springfield College dance team work hard and practice the difficult routines they use to compete and perform.
“For me, it’s a place where I can get away from school and stress… and just be me,” said Megan Schneider, a senior at Springfield College and one of the leaders of the dance team.
The free and accepting environment that the dance team has made for itself was created by the team members kindness and passion for dancing. When there is a whole group of people who are passionate about the same thing, it creates a positive environment and gives members a sense of belonging.
“It’s like a second family,” Schneider said. “It’s like a certain type of connection you don’t get with someone else.”
Finding a “family” at a place where you know almost no one is very powerful. Everyone coming into college wants to find that group of people who they have such a strong bond with.
The students on the Springfield College dance team know they found their group.
“I feel like we’re all able to be ourselves at practice and we’re all very open and accepting of each other,” said Haley Fettig, a junior at the College and another leader of the dance team.
The Springfield College dance team started in 2011. By 2014 the team started competing in regional competitions and just recently started competing in national competitions.
In 2015, the dance team placed third in hip-hop and third in jazz at the New England Dance Championship, topping its previous finishes of fifth and sixth the year before.
More recently, the team placed eighth in jazz in last year’s competition.
Although the team does compete in larger competitions, it does still perform on campus for the Springfield College community to enjoy. The dancers perform at every football and basketball game at Springfield College.
The dancers meet three times a week in room 206 in the Wellness Center. Despite all of the hard work that these dancers put in at every practice for their intense competitions and stellar performances at Springfield College, the team still knows that it isn’t all about winning or entertaining. They all dance because they love being around one another and they enjoy what they do.
“We have a lot of fun,” said Fettig. “It’s something that keeps me busy and keeps me happy.”
Everyone knows that college can be very stressful at times. Students need an outlet that can give them a sense of relaxation. The participants of this dance team have certainly found their outlet.
“It lets me focus on moving my body rather than everything else,” Schneider said.
The next time that the dance team will be performing is at Springfield College’s last football game on Saturday, November 16, against MIT.
If interested in joining the dance team, it holds auditions during the spring and fall semester. For more information and updates on when auditions will be follow the @scpridedanceteam on Instagram.
Photo Courtesy Haley Fettig