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Dancing with the Athletes

On Friday, October 28th, the DeSales University Dance Department and the Athletics Department came together for what will hopefully become an annual event. Taking place in Billera Hall, “Dancing with the Athletes” featured 11 dance majors paired with various athletic team members to showcase the results of multiple rehearsals for their peers’ amusement. In addition to being a fun and entertaining way to spend an evening, the performance served as a fundraiser for the victims of the floods that devastated Louisiana over the summer. With a suggested donation of 5 dollars, the large turnout and generosity of those in attendance provided a total of 515 dollars for relief services. Furthermore, the event served to foster relationships between two communities that almost never interact. Athletes came to dance studios they previously had not known existed, and dancers experienced a level of competition between the pairs they rarely encounter. Sophomore dance major Jackie Yerkes commented that she loved getting the chance to meet people she never would have otherwise, and that her partner’s lack of experience made him willing to try absolutely anything. Junior dance major Paige Matzerath remarked that she found it challenging to come up with choreography that would be both entertaining and accessible to her partner, but also that she too loved interacting with students outside of her sphere. On the other hand, athlete DJ Dalition really enjoyed seeing his improvement and growth, and he thanked his partner Gina Emering for being patient with him. Similarly, although she struggled with the late-night rehearsals typical to dance majors, Nicole Umbenhauer was delighted to learn actual ballet steps and terminology. As Yerkes put it, it was “overall…a great event for a great cause and many people enjoyed watching the performances!”


By Emmy Spaar