Kids ‘Let It Go’ during dance clinic

Sarah Loesch

Photo courtesy of Brittani Conee
Photo courtesy of Brittani Conee

The first floor of the Physical Activities Center was quiet on Saturday morning, but just up the steps on the second floor there was a completely different energy.

The USI dance team hosted its annual dance clinic where participants danced to songs from the “Frozen” soundtrack. Girls and boys ages three to 13 laughed, cheered and danced.

The participants were split into three age groups that were each led by five USI dancers. The youngest group was taught a routine to “Do You Want to Build a Snowman” that included twirling and an appropriately timed “knock knock” on the floor.

The next group was taught some partner work to the tune of “In Summer” and the final group added a high kick to “Love is an Open Door.”

The dancing stopped occasionally for bathroom and juice breaks or a game of duck duck goose, but the participants were always eager to get back into their groups.

At the end of the clinic the participants received a t-shirt and were reminded that they were invited back to perform during the halftime show of the men’s basketball game that afternoon.

Coach Jennifer Guebert and five year team member Taylor Sisk said that they themselves find the performance to be one of their favorite parts of the clinic.

“The performance is my favorite part,” said Guebert. “The clinic in the morning is go,go,go. So I don’t get to watch the groups as much. When they perform in the end, I can sit and watch to see the girls hard work. All of the hugs too, all the hugs the little girls run up and give. To see them enjoy being with my dancers is probably one of the most rewarding parts too.”

“They all get so excited to go out and perform in front of all those people. So that’s always a great part,” said Sisk.

Besides the enjoyment of putting on the clinic and the excitement that all of the participants feel the event also has benefits for both USI and the dance team.

“It’s a big fundraiser for us and we love doing it,” said Sisk. “They pay 25 dollars so we pay for their shirts and then whatever money is left helps go toward nationals or new uniforms for the season; all of the fun stuff.”

It also brings more people to the basketball game who may have otherwise not regularly attended said Guebert. This year the dance team was given enough tickets to provide the participants with two free ones for the game and then others were available for sale.

Guebert said that the event is many things for the team, including promotion, a teaching experience and community building.

“It promotes our team for the future. We’re training dancers who can come up and hopefully be on the dance team. It’s a great teaching tool for our girls on how to handle different ages and learning abilities. It’s a great way for USI to get out in the community. It brings a lot of schools, dance studios, and different places that all these boys and girls dance at all together,” said Guebert.

Later that day the dancers returned and prepared to showcase their hard work during the halftime performance. The performance included each of the three groups, the USI dance team themselves, and a combined finale number to “Let It Go.”

The dance team looks forward to continue you this tradition in the years to come.