The Biggest Misconceptions About Being on A College Dance Team

For dancers looking to continue their training in college, being on a dance team usually isn't the first thing that comes to mind. But it's a unique way to incorporate dance into your college life. Don't be misled by these common dance team misconceptions:

1. Dance team is the same as cheerleading.


Dancers and cheerleaders both perform at games on the sidelines and at halftime, but cheerleaders focus on dancing with poms, complex lifts and tumbling, while dance teams perform choreographed routines in jazz and hip hop and don't focus as much on tumbling.

2. It's all about Nationals.

The annual competition hosted by the Universal Dance Association tends to come off as being the biggest event of the year, says Louisiana State University spirit director Pauline Zernott. "But it is really something extra. Our main goal is to build up our strength to perform for our school and increase the spirit."

3. The sideline dances are easy.

Dancers have to know the basics of all the games because each cheer is specific to a certain play, like first down or foul shots. The team frequently switches lines and facings on the court, so dancers may also need to know the right and left sides of every routine.

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Procopio Photography, courtesy The Washington Ballet

The Ultimate Dressing Room Playlist, Curated by Nardia Boodoo

When it's Nardia Boodoo's turn to play her music in her dressing room at The Washington Ballet, it's an event. "Everyone is like, 'That's such a cool song,' and wants me to send it to them," she says. "I feel like I have the better taste in my dressing room."

That's partially because she mostly stays away from trendy pop hits, opting instead for international music influenced by her Trinidadian heritage. "I could not even tell you the songs that are on the Top 40 list," she says. "If everyone else likes it, I want something different."

Boodoo made us a playlist—mostly "groovy international music"—and told us about how she finds her sought-after songs:

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