Dance team stepping to the top

Junior and team captain Deanna Reyes and sophomore Claudia Chaquinga are members of the first University of La Verne dance team, which performed during the halftime show at the University of La Verne football game against Cal Lutheran Sept. 15. The dance routine was choreographed to "Rock Superstar" by Cypress Hill. / photo by Liz Lucsko
Junior and team captain Deanna Reyes and sophomore Claudia Chaquinga are members of the first University of La Verne dance team, which performed during the halftime show at the University of La Verne football game against Cal Lutheran Sept. 15. The dance routine was choreographed to “Rock Superstar” by Cypress Hill. / photo by Liz Lucsko

by Dora Galván
Staff Writer

Less than a year old, the University of La Verne Dance Team already has given its competition cause for concern.

Only six skilled ULV dancers, all female, were selected for the dance team, which held rigorous try-outs in the spring.

Try-outs included a series of splits, double-turns and other physical stunts, which reduced the number of candidates from 15 to eight.

“Eight people ended up trying out,” said journalism major and team captain Deanna Reyes.

Many more people showed interest initially, she said.

“But when they were told about the requirements they kind of got scared and never came back,” Reyes said.

The team spent its summer months practicing in the Student Center gym.

Team members also attended a four-day dance camp in San Diego, where they competed for the first time.

“We went home with two trophies,” said Reyes, adding one trophy was for “Most Hard-Working.”

The summer dance camp was intense, Reyes said.

The team members practiced daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. with only two short breaks for meals.

In addition to developing their skills, team members also had a chance to bond at camp, Reyes said.

Each team member has paid her own expenses so far.

The team is currently looking for a permanent place to practice.

A tae kwon do class now occupies the space where the team practiced at during the summer.

Dance team practices are held from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday.

For now the small group of women practices in any available space on campus.

“But usually everything is occupied,” Reyes said.

Despite such start-up glitches, Reyes said she is focused on one main task improving as a team.

“I want us to improve on our technique. I really stress this with the girls to set goals for themselves, to work on what they need to work on to make themselves the best dancers that they can be,” Reyes said.

And she knows what that involves.

Reyes was dance team captain in high school where her team took sixth place in a national dance competition.

Back at ULV, the team can be spotted performing to hip-hop at Friday pep rallies before home games and at half-time shows at home games.

“I like their shows,” said senior broadcast major Veronica Perez.

“We really want to encourage people to come out and watch us,” Reyes said.

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