DANCE TEAM moves on AFTER SPLIT FROM ATHLETICS
Published: Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, October 2, 2013 16:10
Since the Bison Dance Team and the Athletics department went their separate ways last month, the girls have refocused their energy toward securing new practice spaces, rehearsing for nationals and keeping school spirit alive.
Early last month the Athletics department decided to remove BDT from all school sporting events. Confusion involving the dance team’s status as a student organization and not an athletic team ultimately led to the decision.
Gene Taylor, Director of Athletics, refused to comment on the situation because the team is no way affiliated with Athletics.
One of the stipulations between BDT and Athletics is that they are no longer allowed to practice their routines in the Bison Sports Arena on Wednesday evenings. In order to keep up their rigorous practice schedule, the team has found other places to rehearse.
According to Coach Meghan Wabner, the team has been practicing in various spots including the downtown YMCA and an elementary school in West Fargo. They are currently working on securing a spot in a north Fargo school so they can be closer to campus.
The news of College GameDay’s appearance in Fargo came shortly after BDT’s split from Athletics. The girls were not allowed to participate at the football game itself, but many showed up to the downtown set in uniform and sold the Forum to attendees.
“As disappointed as we are with Athletics,” Wabner explained, “we don’t hate NDSU. We don’t hate NDSU Athletics. We’re still die hard Bison fans, and regardless of what happened, it went to a really deserving football program.”
They plan to participate in next week’s homecoming events including the parade and the pep rally, but will not be seen on the field. Wabner said that her team will continue to support NDSU as well as the F-M area by performing at upcoming local events, especially as the holidays inch closer.
Their ultimate goal is to become national champions for the third year in a row at the Universal Dance Association’s College Cheerleading and Dance Championship. They recently headed to Minneapolis to learn their routine for January’s competition. Senior Captain Courtney Wabner said that the new routine is the most challenging one yet in all 17 years of her dance career.
“We’re like kids on Christmas we’re so excited,” Courtney Wabner said of the nationals routine.
According to Meghan Wabner, the dance is “absolutely unreal” and the girls are already working hard at it.
“We have a lot of pressure [when you’re] going for your third national championship in a row, because at this point no one wants you to win,” Meghan Wabner said with a laugh.
BDT’s competitors may not be their biggest enthusiasts, but according to Wabner the support from local fans has been much appreciated since Athletics dismissed them from sporting events.
“The reaction has been very supportive and not necessarily surprising because I know people genuinely enjoy the whole game day experience,” she said. “People do enjoy us, and it’s kind of like being able to go to your funeral and you’re not even dead. It tells me we were doing things right.”
Courtney Wabner explained that what happened with the Athletics department has brought them closer and made for an interesting bonding experience.
“We’ve really come together as a group and we’ve reprioritized,” she said. “We’re amped up to the max for what’s to come.”