Dance team continues to practice despite pandemic

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Photo submitted by: Taylor Jones

Ashland University Dance Team pictured above.

Zoe Bogarty

With COVID cases still on the rise, the Ashland University dance team is determined to make the most out of their dance season, despite not being able to perform at their normal competitions.

Prior to the pandemic, the dance team would host two of their biggest fundraisers of the year, their cheer and dance competition and their little eagles cheer and dance clinic. Since they are not allowed to host either events, they have opted for an online fundraiser in hopes to receive donations in replacement of the events.

The funds from these fundraisers are split and used for many things. A portion of it goes to paying their coaches for all their hard work, getting the teams practice clothes, shoes, backpacks for game day, cheer bows, new tumbling material, and much more.

So far out of their goal for $10,000 they’ve made $9,136 as of Friday the 6th, according to fourth year member Taylur Jones.

“Each girl is very dedicated in getting friends and family to donate as the team means a lot to us,” said Jones. “Although we all wish we could host our two huge events, we are very grateful that we are still able to fundraise through this time.”

While they are not advertising on social media for donations, they are practicing for upcoming games for AU’s basketball teams. Starting November 10, the schedule will be finalized on where and when the games will be.

The team has been practicing constantly since September while also adhering to social distancing and mask rules. As for now they have been working on tightness, cleaning a band dance, and working hard on their time out dance. Next week, they have a choreographer coming to teach the team two dances. They will also be learning a jazz dance that same night as well.

Practice can be dangerous with the amount of air you need to intake after exerting yourself, so in order to stay low risk, the dancers have chosen to practice with their masks on the entire time, to keep themselves and their teammates safe.

Another fourth year dance team member, Mackenzie Cook says, “We are wearing masks and stuff for all of practice. The masks make it more sweaty, I don’t have a problem wearing them. It just makes everything more hot and sweaty.”

Upon entering their practice area each team member must be masked, have their temperature taken, and show their campus shield badge. Prior to practice, if they are feeling sick in any way, they are not to show up to practice. During water breaks each and everyone of us use hand sanitizer during the break.

Even with COVID still in the unknown, the dancers are expressing their excitement of their hard work as much as they can with the barriers they have in place.

“I think the online fundraising through reaching our goal is going very well. Each girl is very dedicated in getting friends and family to donate as the teams mean a lot to us,” said Jones “Although we all wish we could host our two huge events, we are very grateful that we are still able to fundraise through this time.”

For more information on how to donate check out:
https://www.reachingourgoal.com/donation/GtUqoKfi3MRC?user_id=14337&source=facebook&fbclid=IwAR38xMqUpEDB-OdTnOq0FyB5PbGEkOZT2bSOStvwEvlgiy_TuYowu3zTbmI