The student-run UMass Dartmouth Dance Team was recently awarded a gold medal at a Regional Performing Arts Competition in Providence, Rhode Island, after their team-choreographed jazz piece earned a score of 91 out of 100. The team's high score also earned them an invitation to compete in a national tournament.
The Dance Team was founded in 2003, and except for a few months in 2006, the team has been entirely student run. The 14 current members of the team competed against other schools this year for the first time. They opened the season in November with a prominent half-time performance at a Boston Celtics game.
Team Captain Jennifer McDaniel of Bellingham said that midway through the season, the team made the ultimately rewarding decision to focus all their attention on a local regional competition. "We struggled to perfect our student choreographed routine, 'the Pulse'," she said. "However, in the end, all of our hard work and sacrifices paid off. Although the team does not have proper funding to compete at the national level, we are still enthusiastic and continue to prepare for our end of the year show." The team performs a variety of different types of dance, including jazz, hip hop, lyrical, and ballet.
The Dance Team will be performing their end of the year show on Wednesday, May 9th at 7 p.m. in the main auditorium. Admission is free.
The Dance Team members are:
Casey Ryan of Colrain
Jessica Froh of Fairhaven
Tamer Plourd of Wilbraham
Beth Anderson of Medway
Katie Lynch of Somerville
Hilary MacDonald of Randolph
Stephanie Lentz of Canton, CT
Courtney Bendikson of Middleboro
Sara Faulkner of Tewksbury
Vanessa Campea of Abington
Captain Mel Jodat of Seekonk
Captain Lauren Arduino of Franklin
Captain Katy Kampshneider of Plymouth
Captain Jen McDaniel of Bellingham
Coach Amy Carroll