Intense tryouts result in new dance team members

By Danielle McLaughlin
September 17, 2009

Shannon Keough

Nerves were high and competition was fierce as many freshmen and other first timers filled the Dixon Center on Monday, Aug. 31 to begin the audition process for Cabrini College’s dance team.

Dance team auditions are a two-week procedure, which consist of six workshops. Those auditioning had to attend at least four of the workshops to be eligible to audition for a spot on the team.

Audition workshops were put into effect to better the team.

“This is a whole new process. We’re trying to ‘up’ our structure and standards and hope to one day be able to compete nationally,” Mallory Beach, sophomore elementary special education major and vice president, said.

Each workshop featured a guest choreographer who led each class. Guest choreographers included a former Eagles cheerleader and a retired Radio City Rockette. Each guest choreographer introduced the auditioning group to different styles of dance. The former Eagles cheerleader had the group dancing to a style she called “jazz fusion,” while the former Rockette brought a totally different flavor of dance.

Auditions were intense, yet the group seemed very enthusiastic and eager to learn. The coach of the dance team, Dr. Michelle Filling, started auditions by introducing the dance team president, Jacquelyn Marciano and vice president, Beach. Filling also touched on events the team participates in, such as Cabrini Night at the Phillies, off-campus performances and basketball games. She then emphasized that the team is based upon fundraising and community service.

Everyone auditioning seemed to be having a good time trying out. By the time the second song was playing, most of the dancers were breaking a sweat. It was clear this team required not only a strong competitive edge but also a passion for dance.

“I’ve danced a lot in the past but this is more of a workout than I thought. It’s so much fun though,” Katie Jones, freshman undeclared major, said.

On Friday, Sept. 11, auditions took place. First the girls auditioning were graded on their skills for splits, double pirouettes and leaps. They were also graded on their routine for their technique, memorization, personality and musicality.

There was no set number for the amount of girls the team was willing to take. Whoever had the skills and personality would be sure to get a spot. It was surprising to those who tried out when they learned only three girls that auditioned had made it. Theresa Agro, Rachael Semone and Kim Perry, all freshmen, are the new members joining the ’09-’10 dance team.

Every member on the dance team hopes the new members will become a part of their close- knit dance “family.” The relationship the girls have and the relationship between them and Filling is one of the most important aspects of being a part of the team.

Filling volunteers her time to help coach the team and the members have become a very important part of her life. “Before every performance, the team says the Hail Mary in our huddle; it is always a moment when I reflect on how thankful I am to be a mentor to this sisterhood of dancers,” Filling said.

The dance team is looking forward to building a relationship with the new dancers who were chosen to be on the team.

Danielle McLaughlin

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