In The Light: Chelsea Santiago


Abby Blair, Maroon-News Staff

If you have ever been to DanceFest, you’ve seen Chelsea Santiago perform. She is in not one, but four of Colgates’ student dance groups including Melanated, Latin American Dance, DDT and Colgate Dance Team. She also serves as a team captain for Melanated and Latin American Dance.

Santiago’s dance career began after she made her high school’s hip-hop and step team her freshman year. She danced for the group all four years and was co-captain her senior year.

“When I came to college I knew it was something I wanted to continue,” Santiago said. “I didn’t think I was going to take it on this much or join that many groups, but I really enjoy it.”

One of her favorite dance experiences was taking classes at the Millennium Dance Complex in Los Angeles, California.

“It was so surreal to be able to take a hip hop class there, and it felt great to be doing dance outside of Colgate or my education,” Santiago said. “I would definitely like to continue doing that whether professionally or just as a hobby.”

Santiago is even considering opening her own studio someday.

Santiago also loves to choreograph, and has greatly appreciated the opportunity to do so as captain in two groups. Santiago noted that one of the most impactful performances for her occurred last fall. The choreography was particularly meaningful because the piece was about the glue gun incident involving racism that occurred on Colgate’s campus in the spring of 2017. Santiago said she admired being able to express the emotions that students and faculty were feeling.

Santiago hails from outside of Phoenix in Chandler, Arizona. She heard about Colgate through a pre-college program for first generation students, where she met an admissions officer.

“I wanted a smaller school where I could be known by name and as a person rather than just as a number,” Santiago said.

On top of her dance commitments, and her Political Science and Psychology concentrations, Santiago also works in the Office of Admission and was part of the Spanish Debate Team. Over the summer, Santiago traveled to Guatemala and Chile with the debate team, where she had the opportunity to serve as a judge during the world finals.

Although Santiago has many varied responsibilities on campus, she doesn’t miss a step when it comes to tackling all of them. Whether the task entails conducting a campus tour, studying Freud, or rehears- ing for DanceFest, Santiago is sure to come out on top.

Contact Abby Blair at [email protected].