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The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

Colgate Dance Team Fosters Connection Through Creativity

Instagram / @colgatedanceteam

When exploring clubs and communities at Colgate University, it’s clear that dance is an extremely popular pastime on campus. Colgate offers over 10 dance groups for students to join that include multiple genres and styles of dance. 

The Colgate Dance Team, led by junior Caroline Collins, explores and combines multiple dance styles but primarily focuses on jazz and hip-hop. The team regularly performs at Colgate football and basketball games, in addition to the routines they perform at Dancefest during the Fall and Spring semesters.

Sophomore Dilni Pathirana explained that she has been dancing since she was four years old but was unsure whether she wanted to continue dancing in college. She ultimately decided to join the Colgate Dance Team and described it as a wonderful experience.

“My favorite thing about [the] Dance Team is the energy and the people,” Pathirana said. “It is such a supportive, loving and welcoming environment that I never knew I needed.”

During her sophomore year at Colgate, a friend convinced senior Jane Carskadden to audition, who took the encouragement and finally gave it a try. The team revived her passion for dance and offered a space to express her creativity. 

“I didn’t expect to dance in college and never planned to try out for any groups until my friend convinced me to come to Dance Team auditions my sophomore year after not dancing for the better part of three years,” Carskadden said. “Dancing again at auditions felt amazing, and I was thrilled when I was asked to join the team. Joining the team reignited my love for dance while also letting me try out new things.”

Carskadden echoed Pathirana’s sentiments about the benefits of joining the Dance Team community.

“These performances also help foster the team’s community, since we are constantly working towards the next performance and pushing ourselves to improve,” Carskadden said. “In the future, I would like to see the team performing at more games and continuing to foster strong bonds among its members.”

First-year Bella Nalli quickly found a new family on campus through her fellow Colgate Dance Team members.

“I feel so close to the girls on the team and am so glad that I joined. We rehearse two to three times a week and occasionally hang out outside of practices, and it’s so nice to be with them,” Nalli said. “I love the girls in it. […] I also love being able to dance, as it was a huge part of my life growing up.”

Pathirana encouraged those considering trying out to take a chance and do it. 

“If anyone is interested, I really hope they try out,” Pathirana said. “I was hesitant at first, but it has been such a rewarding experience. I am so grateful for the friends and now family I have gained from the Dance Team.”

Collins seconded Pathirana’s enthusiasm about the organization.

“Go for it! [The] dance team has been one of my favorite things I’ve participated in during college and you should totally audition if you’re interested in joining a great team,” Collins said.

Auditions for the Colgate Dance Team are held in September for the Fall semester and again in the beginning of February for the Spring semester. The auditions include meeting with the team and learning a dance performance.

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