Behind the scenes of two big performances by @AC_danceteam

By Sara Heath

Worcester, Mass.: On Friday, Oct. 10, the Assumption College Dance Team, a competitive, student-run club sport at the College, had not one, but two performances, the first being on the Fox 25 News Campus Tour of Assumption and the second being at the Assumption Football team’s game against Pace University, at which the football team shut out Pace 52-0.

The dance team, under the direction of Coach Ashley Caissie, class of 2012, had been practicing the routine they performed at both events for many weeks in preparation for the homecoming football game against LIU Post, however the halftime show was cut due to the short introduction of the school’s new Pierre mascot.

Taking the extra time to prepare the routine, the team rescheduled it for the Oct. 10 game.

Then, on Oct. 9, the one of the team’s captains, senior Ericka Consolmagno, was contacted by Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Catherine WoodBrooks about appearing on the Fox 25 morning program.

After an enthusiastic “yes,” from the captains and coach, the dance team began the scramble to rework the routine to be danceable on a grassy surface rather than on turf.

“We practiced for three hours the night before,” says Consolmagno. “Our routine originally featured a lot of turns, which you can’t do on grass, so we had to change a lot.”

The next morning, the team woke up before the sunrise to prepare themselves for the appearance. After hair and makeup was done, they gathered in Charlie’s to stretch and warm up their muscles. A half-hour prior to the performance, the team headed down to “The Quad,” the grassy part between Desautels and Alumni halls, where all of the taping for the Fox 25 show was taking place.

Once it was time for the dance team to appear on the show, they gathered on a small part of the quad.

“It wasn’t the most ideal place to be dancing,” says Consolmagno. “It was really cramped and the grass was soaked and wasn’t mowed so we were all really nervous about slipping and falling on it.”

The music situation wasn’t ideal either. Since the technology at the event wasn’t up-to-date, the team wasn’t able to hear the music they were supposed to be dancing to.

“As a team we all came together to just count the eight-counts out loud for each other,” says Consolmagno. “Growing up as dancers we all learned that no matter what happens during a performance, you keep on dancing. We knew that if our music stopped at nationals we wouldn’t stop dancing, so why would this performance be any different?”

The dancing didn’t stop then. After a day of classes, the Assumption College Dance Team took to the football field to cheer on the Greyhounds and perform a halftime show.

The dance team started performing on the sidelines at football games last season, according to Consolmagno. The pressbox is in charge of playing songs during timeouts and between points, and the team performs different choreography to the music.

Come halftime, the dance team went to centerfield to begin their routine to “Latch” by Dispatch. They did the same version of the dance as they had on Fox 25, but put some of the turns back in.

“Since we weren’t as happy with our performance during the morning due to the conditions, we wanted to redeem ourselves with this one,” says Consolmagno.

After halftime the dance team continued to perform on the sidelines to cheer on the Greyhounds.

The Assumption College Dance Team is a student-run club sport that is under the direction of their coach, Ashley Caissie, a dance team alumnus. They perform at all home football and basketball games, at Midnight Madness and at the National Dance Alliance’s Collegiate Nationals in Daytona Beach, Fla. every April.

Their next performance will be at Midnight Madness on Oct. 23. in the Laska Gymnasium at Assumption College.

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