The Adrian College’s Dance Competition team headed to their first competition of the 2022 season on Feb 5th. This was an NAIA competition and was held in Grand Rapids, Mich. at Aquinas College.
Due to the uncertainty of the world due to COVID-19 pandemic in the last few years, this competition was one that the dogs were ready to take on. The Spring of 2020 was the last time they were able to dance competitively and even then it was only the one time. Needless to say, this team has been working hard towards any and all goals since then.
The Bulldogs went to the competition with game faces ready as they competed against more than just the Aquinas Dance Team. Additional teams also in attendance were Lawrence Tech, Madonna, Mariam, St. Francis, Thomas More and Viterbo. Traveling two and half hours to compete gave the team enough time to mentally prepare for what was to come. Once arrived, they were to head right into outfit and appearance preparation first. A dancer knows that looking good is the best way to feel good about a performance.
A fifteen minute warm up was given to each team to space out on the actual court floor. This opportunity is given to dancers as a run-through in order of performances, so the final showcase will look the same as how the dances have been practiced. Spacing is a big aspect when it comes to doing the run through beforehand so that everybody knows which exact spots to be in. This also helps each dancer to be able to find their “spotting place” beforehand. This is the spot where the dancer looks and focuses when doing their turns and or turning sequences. Spotting during this helps keep a tight core and balance so the turns are completed without falling out of them.
Dancing is a sport that requires a warm up just as any other sport would. Adrian was given a ten minute window to use the dance studio at Aquinas to warm up before their performance. During warm up, the team went through a series of exercises and stretches to get their hearts pumping. Jumping jacks, planks, jump-squats, and crunches are some things that were done to get some physical activity in, amid being in a studio.
The girls used this time and the next fifteen minutes to stretch and do any last-minute things before going out. Stretching is an important aspect of anybody’s life in order to stay flexible and or healthy. However, stretching to a dancer is something that needs to be done in order to dance to the best of their ability. Stretching also reduces the risk of injury greatly because of the different ways a dancer’s body can move, injury is easy to occur.
Finally, it has come time for the Adrian College Dance Team to give their performance to the audience and judges. The team did a mashup song that included all of these aspects of dance: hip-hop, jazz, and pom. These are three very different styles of dance that were used to impress the judges and show their diversity with dancing in all styles. The overall routine came to a two minute and eleven second show, well done by the bulldogs.
Adrian gave a great performance and shined bright in their sparkly-red outfits. The team ended up placing seventh overall at the competition. Avery Engle, a current Adrian competition dancer, said “We were able to come together as a team very well. Overall, we did much better than expected and were happy with our hard work put in.” Avery mentioned plans for the team to take their critiques and work harder to get better every day until they compete at Nationals this April.