Dancing to a whole new beat

By Ryan Mulloy
February 21, 2003

Lauren Joseph

Gina Roswell, a senior, stands on the sidelines now when the dance team completes performances. The team spends hours a week trying to perfect their craft, as Roswell helps them along through practices as one of their coaches. This year would have been her last year to perform with the team, but an injury has kept her from her passion.

Roswell began dancing at age three when her mother enrolled her in classes for ballet and tap dancing. Since the age of three, Roswell has danced with several professional dance companies, putting on shows in an effort to become a better dancer.

At “South Jersey Dance Works,” Roswell was part of the Touranado Dance Troupe, a group considered a professional dance company for the work they have done. “We had professional gigs, some annual recitals,” Roswell said, “but we danced at other colleges and some places in Philly.”

A major highlight with the troupe, however, came when they were asked to perform in a music video. “We were all in a video. It was some band, I’m not sure what kind of band they were, but we got paid and were basically their video.”

In 1999 when Roswell came to Cabrini, there was no dance team. “Freshman year we had a cheerleading team, so I joined that.” The team did not last through the year though, as everyone eventually quit. The following year though, Andrea Manieri, Roswell’s co-coach this year, started a dance team. After Manieri graduated in 2001, Roswell took over the coaching position with Amanda Cappelli, senior. This year, however, Roswell asked Manieri to come back and coach with her.

Roswell continued to dance as the coach of the team until October 24, 2002 when injury struck. Roswell had always had a bad back, having seen a chiropractor since age nine, but during practice for Midnight Madness, Roswell suffered an injury that would end her dancing career.

“I bent over to do a move, and when I tried to get back up, I couldn’t move my back.” Roswell describes the walk back to her apartment on campus as more of a hobble, but credits her roommates for getting her through such a difficult situation. But even their help couldn’t stop Roswell from helping the dance team begin the basketball season at Midnight Madness.

“Probably about an hour before we were supposed to go on, I was just like ‘I’m going to do it.'” Roswell felt the effects of her work that night for the next week, saying her friends told her she looked like an old woman when she walked. After meeting with doctors, she found out she had dislocated her sacrum iliac disk in her lower spine.

Roswell does not have time for treatment now, with her doctor being in her home state of New Jersey. After graduation, she plans on becoming a lawyer, so taking time to get her back fixed does not seem like a likely option.

For now Roswell enjoys being the coach and is especially proud that the dancers will finish their full season. Having worked on the dance floor and the sidelines, Roswell has experienced every facet of dance. While she can no longer perform her passion, Roswell seems perfectly content with being one of the coaches this year, and not a performer. “I love working with Andrea as a coach because she’s so talented and just an excellent coach. I’m incredibly proud of our girls too, and I’ll miss being a part of that family.”

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Ryan Mulloy

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