Eagle Elite dance team seniors denied final season


Submitted by: Eagle Elite Dance Team

The Eagle Elite Dance Team seniors take their last group photo together.

Alayna Ross

The Coronavirus pandemic has robbed Ashland University senior athletes of many of their final moments competing for AU. The Eagle Elite Dance Team is no exception and despite never being able to perform, the senior dancers have kept their hopes and spirits high.

The Eagle Elite Dance Team consists of 16 to 20 dancers that perform during home men’s and women’s basketball games, as well as select wrestling matches. The team’s main goal is to promote school spirit and Eagle pride with their performances.

 In addition to being an integral part of the AU athletics, the team participates in numerous service events on the AU campus and within the Ashland community.

For the winter athletic season, the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC)  approved competition for 18 of the conference games for the men’s and women’s basketball teams, and six competitions for the men’s wrestling team; none of which are slated to be held at AU.

Although competition for winter sports has been approved, there have been major changes in regards to the competitive atmosphere.

According to the GLIAC’s COVID-19 Safety Requirements for Competition, “based on the current COVID climate, and in order to best protect institutions’ ability to compete safely in GLIAC contests, the GLIAC COVID-19 Task Force recommends that events held without spectators, bands, mascots, cheer teams and promotional activities”. 

This season, the Eagle Elite Dance Team continued to practice with the hopes of possibly performing each week to no avail. 

Senior dancer, Mackenzie Cook, has been a member of the AU Eagle Elite Dance Team since her freshman year and although Cook graduates in the winter of 2021, she walked off the court for the last time as an Eagle Elite dancer this week.

“It’s sad that we don’t get to show people what we’ve been working so hard on, but being able to practice and get to know each other is a blessing on its own”, Cook said.

Senior dancers celebrate their final season over cake. (Submitted by: Eagle Elite Dance Team)

AU seniors Sydney Moore and Hannah Balliett echo that their senior dance season was not what they expected, but it taught them to be grateful for their teammates and the AU community. 

“Being a senior dancer this year was definitely really tough, but it taught me to appreciate the things that I do have”, said Moore. “It’s so weird to think that at the last game I danced at, I didn’t realize it would be my last time.”

“Although we have not been able to perform, our team has made the most out of our limited practices”, Balliett said. “I am going to miss performing in front of our amazing AU crowd and I am grateful for all the kind words from the community and support from my teammates to be the best dancer, and person, I can be.”

Despite the hardships and adversity that came with the 2020-2021 season, the Eagle Elite Dance Team has proven that they will continue to cheer on their beloved Eagles and Ashland community.