Taylor Sisk started dancing for USI her freshmen year.
After her time as a dancer ended, she wanted to continue to work with the team.
“My love of dance and wanting to help the team succeed (brought me back as a coach),” Sisk said.
Sisk said the USI dance team is one of the strongest in Division II athletics
Last year when Sisk still danced for the team, they went straight to the finals and placed fifth in nationals over all.
“You go and dance,” Sisk said, “and less than half of the teams get to go straight through.”
The team offers many ways to further the dancing careers of each person on the team.
USI’s dance program allows dancers to individually take on the role of preparing certain routines.
Coach Jennifer Guebert assigns one of the dancers a routine to prepare and gives them the chance to become hands on with the dancers.
This gives the dancers the chance to understand what it takes to be in charge of a dance Guebert said.
Although many dancers help create new routines the team still meets with a choreographer to help with nationals.
This year’s team consists of 16 dancers total, eight of them are new to the team.
“(We want to) make them look like one total (group),” Guebert said, “instead on 16 individual dancers.”
Guebert, like Sisk, started out as a dancer at the university and worked her way up to coach.
After graduating in 2007 she was asked by former head coach Amanda Mueller to help out.
Mueller has since taken a step back, and became an assistant coach, which opened the position for Guebert to become head coach.
Guebert wants the team to “support more (USI) athletics,” and the first step toward this goal will be Friday at the volleyball game.
The dancers will perform for the first time this season.
The team will continue to become more involved with performing at other athletic events and are working toward nationals in April.