UMF's Dance Team. (Courtesy of Allison Hodge.)

By Allison Hodge – Staff Writer

University of Maine at Farmington’s (UMF) Dance Team shows us at each UMF home basketball game what they are made of when they take to the floor and perform the dance that they have been working on for several weeks, and during those weeks, the members have a chance to become a closer team—more like a family.

The UMF dance team is most known for their half time shows during the basketball games. While they may make their dances look easy, putting them together is actually a lot of work. It takes a whole executive board to make those dances happen at each game. “We hold elections in March. We have a President, Vice President, two captains, a treasure and a project coordinator,” said Kelsey Marco, a UMF junior and dance team captain. Once they have completed a dance, they have an adviser come check it to make sure it is safe and family appropriate.

Due to the fact there are two captains, each one chooses two songs to choreograph on their own and then they create one together. They usually have around 5 songs per dance and the team practices every week. “We practice at least 3 times a week, unless we are getting ready for a new routine. Then we’ll practice every day,” said UMF senior and dance team president, Katie Beyea.

Beyea found out about the dance team at a club fair during her freshman year and decided to join. “Anyone can join. Most of the dancers have past experience but quite a few join with no dancing background at all,” said Beyea.

It is clear that those who join the team really form a unique bond. UMF sophomore Kaitie Boulet said what motivates her to be a part of the team is “definitely the girls on the team.”

When it comes to performing, UMF sophomores Ellie Polk and Nora Morris agreed that what they like best is, “Being part of the school spirit and showing people the dances that we [members] work really hard on.” The team seems to have a sense of family as shown by the way the girls interact on the floor and off. They even have special traditions, such as Secret Beaver, where they buy each other small gifts before every game.

“Everyone on the team is amazing and mean a lot to me, so I like being able to make decisions to make the team the best it can be,” said Beyea.

The Dance Team is a club sport that is funded by the Student Senate, which means they get a loan each year to help them get started and are expected to pay it back at the end of the season. “We do a lot of fundraisers like bake sales and bottle drives,” Marco said. This helps them pay for their costumes and other expenses throughout the year.

“It’s also a good way to meet new people with the same interest. Many girls on the team have made close friends that they may have never had the opportunity of meeting. It is a good way to have fun, make friends, and support the school,” said Beyea.