Inside the WSU Dance Team

By Rachael Berthiaume

I stare at the sewing needle, thread, and fake ponytail that I have to somehow sew into my head. The girl standing next to me in the bathroom wears a similar look of confusion.

But before you let your imagination run wild, let me explain.

I am in the bathroom at Westfield State University, getting ready to perform alongside the Worcester State dance team at the Universal Dance Association regionals competition.

This year we are dancing to a song called “Hair,” so naturally, we felt the need to buy hair extensions to make the routine that much more authentic.

PSA: 18-inch rags of fake hair are not easy to whip around and will fall out almost immediately after any physical activity. After practicing with them for a few days, we came to the conclusion that the only option was to sew them into our real hair.

We were trying to avoid any mishaps at all costs – not just to protect ourselves from self-embarrassment, but for the overall outcome of the team’s performance. College dance teams do not mess around.

The WSU dance team may not be full of professionals who are striving for a career in dance, but it is a team of hardworking girls who want to succeed, not just in college dance team competitions, but in all aspects of life.

That being said, the UDA regionals was the last important function of the year (besides our benefit show on April 7).

We had spent hours practicing and perfecting the routines and the result was something we all should be proud of, but we also knew that winning isn’t everything.

All of us made a commitment to this team but we all knew that the most important thing was to have fun and enjoy it. For most of us, the WSU dance team is probably the last chance for dance to be an active part of our lives.

Hometown dance studios and college dance teams have some very significant differences, but I can confidently say that those who continue to dance in college are the ones who have a true love for the art, and that is something that never goes away.

There is something about the stage makeup, flashy costumes, and the thrill of running onstage that is harder to let go of than I ever thought possible. It is a feeling you can only understand by experiencing it firsthand.

Being a member of the WSU dance team so far has been a bittersweet, yet also highly rewarding experience.

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