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App State Dance Team: Promoting School Spirit with Every Performance

By Harley Nefe

Whether it be at men’s & women’s basketball games, football games, wrestling matches, or other university events, there is a team of around 18 women who are always present with one goal in mind – to promote spirit and pride, while generating crowd involvement at Appalachian State University.

The members of App State’s Dance Team come from all different backgrounds; however, they all share one trait in common – their passion for dancing.

“I love dancing, and I love performing,” described senior Ana Duncan, who is the Team Head Captain. “I also love sports in general. So, just getting to be on the sidelines and in the middle of all the action at sporting events is super fun.”

What it’s like being in the spotlight on the field or on the court can be difficult to describe, as not everyone has had that experience, but the feeling is unlike any other.

“It’s really hard to explain,” Ana said. “For me, it doesn’t feel real. I’ll go out there and perform in front of 30,000 people at a football game, and I won’t even remember what happened. You have so much adrenaline, but that makes it all the more fun.”

Ana continued, “We have a goal to entertain the crowd and keep energy levels up. It’s entertainment. It’s something everybody on the team loves to do as well as performing. Pretty much every girl on the team has grown up dancing on the stage their whole lives, but dancing in front of 30,000 people at a football game is a whole different thing. Just being able to entertain that number of people and to perform on that level to keep energy levels up is what interests people to join the team.”

Members of the team pose with Yosef at Kidd Brewer Stadium.
Photo courtesy of App State Dance Team. 

One member of the team, sophomore Isleigh Sharpe, has been dancing since she was two years old.

“I can pour my emotions and words into the movement, which makes me feel free,” Isleigh described. “Dance makes me feel like my flaws are irrelevant. It’s my world, and I know I have found my passion – it’s the thing you go to when you need clarity and a purpose. Dance is mine.”

Many members of the App State Dance Team decided to continue dancing on the college level because it’s something they have always known.

“A lot of people have grown up in the competitive dance world, and if you want to get to the professional dance level and dance in the NFL or for the NBA, college level is that next step,” Ana explained. “I know for me and a lot of other girls, they had parents who danced in college and went on to dance professionally. Growing up around people who went on to do that, it just makes it appealing to those who want to dance on a college level.”

One reason why many of the women find being on the team so enjoyable is because they are also each other’s support group.

“I am the happiest when I do things that I am passionate about,” junior Juliana Grant said. “Others who share the same interests with you will naturally fall into your communities and will provide the best support systems. The people in those communities are the ones that you can rely on and fall back on.”

Ana added, “We are all at that same stage in life. We’re all in classes. We all have a lot going on, but we’re a really strong group of friends to lean on. It made my transition from moving from my hometown to college ten times easier because as soon as I walked on campus, I already had girls that I knew and that I could count on.”

Teammates were excited to participate in College GameDay festivities. Photo courtesy of App State Dance Team.

Sophomore dancer Rachel Gaillard shared, “I am so undeniably happy where I am at school and on the Appalachian State Dance Team.”

Sophomore dancer Elise Spangler agreed and said, “Trying out for this team was truly the best decision I ever made going into college.”

With every performance, the Dance Team aims to entertain the crowd. Photo by Sam Garrett

The App State Dance Team’s season officially starts with tryouts. For the past two years, tryouts have taken place in the summer; however, this year, tryouts are tentatively scheduled for the spring, like they have been in previous seasons.

“Tryouts will hopefully happen in the spring this year before school lets out, so college students who already go to school here and are interested in joining will already be around,” Ana said.

ESPN’s College GameDay visited App State on Sept. 17. Photo courtesy of App State Dance Team.

For tryouts, there are specific technique skills that participants are required to be able to perform, including various types of leaps and turns. However, to help prepare, the Dance Team is planning on hosting some open practices.

“It’s an opportunity to attend one of our practices and get a feel for the team,” Ana explained. “I personally attended an open practice before I tried out for the team, and it was such a big help to know what I was getting into. It takes the stress off – going and practicing and getting a feel for everything.”

In addition to open practices, the Dance Team is planning on offering clinics or a mock tryout as well.

“This is so people can come and see what the process is like as a way to prepare for tryouts,” Ana said. “This is for anybody who is interested in trying out for the team or who just wants to see what a college team is like. It’s a really big opportunity for them, and it’s also for the team to gauge interest.”

At tryouts, a panel of qualified judges select people to make the cut. These can be past members of the team or people who dance professionally.

Team captains also assist in the tryout process, and captains change every year.

“Anybody is eligible to run for captain,” Ana explained. “It doesn’t matter what year you are. At the end of every season, there’s a team captain selection process. In the past, it has been a team vote decision.”

Ana Duncan is currently Head Captain, with senior Hannah Teague and junior Alex Franks as Co-Captains.

When asked about what advice she would give to others, Hannah shared, “Take it all in. I wish I could relive some of my amazing opportunities, like being with my dance family. It all goes by faster than you could imagine.”

Some of the opportunities the Dance Team takes part in is Camp Week in August. To prepare for the new season, each member is required to learn basic dance materials and to practice over the summer.

Photos courtesy of Jonathan Aguallo for Aguallo Studios.

“This is so whenever the team meets for the first official in-season practice, everyone has an idea of what is going on,” Ana said.

Camp Week typically occurs the week before classes start in August.

“We bring in guest choreographers during that week,” Ana shared. “A lot of these choreographers are former members of the team or have experience dancing in the NBA or NFL. They teach us material, and we practice it throughout the season.”

The Dance Team can be found at many university events.
Photo courtesy of Jonathan Aguallo for Aguallo Studios.

The material learned during Camp Week turns into a number of routines the team is able to perform throughout the season.

“It definitely takes a lot of stress off of the team and the captains, just knowing that choreographers will pick out the music,” Ana said. “They give us options, but they cut the music and get it all done for us. That’s one less thing we have to worry about. If we bring in somebody that is really good and we really trust, they help us out in that aspect.”

The Dance Team will typically receive about five or six routines from the choreographers they hire.

“As the season goes on, and we use those a lot, sometimes we will work together and choreograph new stuff, such as during break,” Ana said. “Captains will meet and throw together five lines to music because not everybody is available over break. So, the spacing and everything is messed up for routines. We definitely have to come up with new stuff, and especially for basketball season since there are so many basketball games, we definitely try to come up with different stuff ourselves as a team.”

Photo courtesy of App State Dance Team

Overall, the Dance Team’s sideline routines stay consistent year to year. They may vary slightly in order to evolve.

“A lot of the time, we will bring in the same choreographers each year to choreograph a similar routine if we know the crowd really liked a certain routine,” Ana said.

As for the typical schedule throughout the season? It varies.

“This past fall, we met about four times a week, but before College Game Day and other events, we definitely had to call some extra practices,” Ana described. “Fall is definitely a lot busier than the spring, because when we get to November, seasons overlap. We’re balancing football, basketball, wrestling, and many other events.”

All of the women share a common connection — their passion for dancing. Photo courtesy of App State Dance Team, taken by Chad Mitchell Photography.

With balancing basketball, football, and wrestling schedules along with other university events like Fanfest, Homecoming, Black & Gold Traditions, and Mountaineer Madness, the season can be really busy for the Dance Team year round.

However, the Dance Team doesn’t only attend university events. They make sure to prioritize their community outreach through volunteering efforts.

“For the past two years, we’ve partnered up with the summer baseball league here – the Boone Bigfoots,” Ana said. “We get a group of girls together for every game, and it’s a sign-up volunteer process for whoever can go and participate.”

By working with the Bigfoots, the team has the opportunity to provide entertainment for and engage with Boone residents.

Depending on the event and weather, the team has different uniforms to choose from. Photo courtesy of App State Dance Team.

“Surprisingly, a lot of people in the Boone community in the summer show up to the games, and it’s a lot of fun,” Ana described. “We have a role and purpose – promoting school spirit across Boone.”

When they are not dancing, team members strive to help the community by raising money, working with nonprofits, and keeping the town clean.

For example, the App State Dance Team adopted a street in Boone. Therefore, it’s the team’s responsibility to visit it three times a year to maintain it.

“Really if any organization reaches out to us, requesting our presence or help, we will do it,” Ana shared.

In the spring, the App State Dance Team is planning on giving private dance classes. This is something the team members have done in the past. They auctioned off free private dance lessons and opportunities for people to practice with them, and the money raised was donated to charities.

Whether on or off the field, the goal is to keep energy levels up. Photo courtesy of App State Dance Team

Above all though, the Dance Team would not be able to make the difference that they do without their number of sponsors. The App State Dance Team would like to thank the individuals, businesses, and organizations for their generous donations and contributions as well as their support of the program and dancers.

“I also want to just brag on my teammates on how respectful they are,” Ana shared. “They are always willing to help. It’s definitely a team effort. The team would not run the same way or really be able to function if it wasn’t for the effort everyone puts into the team. They are great teammates and people.”

Meet The Team

Ana Duncan

Ana Duncan

Year: Senior

Major: Business Management and Administration

Minors: Human Resource Management and Dance

Hometown: Source Pine, North Carolina

Types of Dances Performed/Competed: Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Lyrical, Contemporary, Modern, Tap, Acro/Tumbling, and Hip Hop

Plans After Graduation: I plan to move to a larger city, potentially Charlotte, and begin exploring career options while working in a business setting. I am not exactly sure what path I want to take for my long-term career yet, so I plan to work for a period of time while I figure that out. Aside from my career in business, I would love to teach dance classes and/or choreograph on the side.

Two Things to be Remembered for: 1. Having had empathy, love, and compassion for others. 2. Being a hard worker that had determination and drive. I worked hard for everything that I accomplished.

Dance Inspiration: My mom who first enrolled me in dance classes at the age of three was my biggest reason for dancing. Along with my mom, my former dance teacher, Macey Strickland Butler, also encouraged and helped me pursue my goal to dance in college. Macey is a former member of the App State Dance Team and TopCat (Carolina Panther’s Cheerleader). Prior to trying out for the dance team, Macey helped me prepare through training, advice, and a lot of support. I couldn’t be more thankful for everything my Mom and Macey have done to get me to where I am at today.

Hannah Teague

Hannah Teague

Year: Senior

Majors: Finance/Banking and Risk Management/ Insurance

Hometown: Asheville, North Carolina

Types of Dances Performed/Competed: Jazz, Tap, Ballet, Acro, Hip Hop, Contemporary, and Modern

Plans After Graduation: I hope to work in the risk management department for the City of Asheville.

Two Things to be Remembered for: 1. Someone who made people feel confident and proud of who they are and what they accomplished. 2. How hard I have worked to be where I am today.

Dance Inspiration:  My mom is my biggest encouragement. Some of my favorite times dancing was looking out into the audience and seeing her face. But anytime besides that, she just looked so happy and proud to see me doing what I loved. To this day, she has never missed a performance. She is always cheering me on, whether it’s on a stage or a football game (rain, shine, or snow), she is always there. She makes me want to give my all because she gives me everything. I could not do it without her. She is the person that keeps me going on and off the field.

Taylor Starnes

Taylor Starnes

Year: Senior

Major: Hospitality & Tourism Management

Minor: Communications

Hometown: Charlotte, North Carolina

Types of Dances Performed/Competed: Jazz, Tap, Lyrical, Hip Hop, Contemporary, Ballet, and Musical Theater

Plans After Graduation: I plan to live in Boone one more year and continue working at Hound Ears country Club, Brown Mtn Beach Wedding Resort, and possibly a hotel to build good experience for my resume. After that, I have been thinking about moving to Colorado for a year and maybe look into being a Broncos Cheerleader. If I do not move to Colorado, I would also be highly interested in auditioning to be a Honeybee with the Charlotte Hornets or a Topcat with the Carolina Panthers. Other than dance, my dream is to become a wedding planner or event planner. I have big dreams, but I am very excited for my future!

Two Things to be Remembered for: 1. I was that girl who takes on everyday with her head up high and with a positive outlook on everything. 2. I hope that I’m (and will be) viewed as the dancer who always gave 110% and always showed commitment, confidence and love for dancing and the team.

Dance Inspiration: My mom and aunt definitely inspired me to become a dancer. My mom and aunt started dancing when they were about three, as well as me, and they continued on professionally. My aunt became a dance teacher after competition, and my mom became a Topcat and a Honeybee cheerleader. Along with that they both were in the Charlotte Rage Football cheer team together! They have been to every dance competition, recital and football game I have performed in. They are my support system and have uplifted and encouraged me through all of my nerves, tears, and breakdowns within dance. I send all my love and gratitude to both of them!

Juliana Grant

Juliana Grant

Year: Junior

Major: Nutrition and Food-Dietetics Concentration

Minor: Exercise Science

Hometown: Huntersville, North Carolina

Types of Dances Performed/Competed: Tap, Jazz, Hip Hop, Lyrical, Contemporary, and Modern

Plans After Graduation: I plan to go to graduate school to obtain my masters degree in nutrition and dietetics. From there, I want to become a registered dietitian. I want to work in the field of performance/sports nutrition and hopefully start off by working with collegiate level athletics and eventually move into professional teams in the NFL, NBA, NHL, etc. Later on in my career I hope to work in a private practice with clients who want to learn how to pair nutrition with physical activity to meet their health goals.

Two Things to be Remembered for: 1. Being genuine. I try my best to be an honest, loving, kind, fun, and dependable person. I feel like there are people who are afraid to be their most genuine selves out of fear of being disliked or embarrassed. It’s not the easiest thing to do, but I really try to be there for the people in my life in the most genuine way. 2. Being passionate. I consider myself a passionate person in many aspects of my life.

Dance Inspiration:  I wouldn’t say there is one specific person who inspired me to become a dancer . My mom introduced me to the world of dance, but my family lived in it. As I grew older, I had the continuous support of my family, both biological and dance. My mom, Kathy, and my Granny have been two of my biggest supporters. They have always pushed me, given advice when needed, and given me confidence to try for the things I want in life.

Rachel Gaillard

Rachel Gaillard

Year: Sophomore

Major: Public Health

Minor: Social Work

Hometown: Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Types of Dances Performed/Competed: Ballet, Jazz, Modern, and Contemporary

Plans After Graduation: I plan to go to graduate school. I wish to get my masters in Public Health or Social Work. After I graduate, my goal is to be a social worker in hospitals.

Two Things to be Remembered for: 1. For my passionate, go-with-the-flow personality. 2. The way I look at life, and the way I care for my friends and family.

Dance Inspiration: I am most inspired by my twin sister, Emily, to dance. We both started dancing at the same time, and she really pushed me to continue to dance even when I was exhausted or tired. She was the person who encouraged me to try out for the Dance Team, and she was the girl I called first to tell her I made the team. Emily, I am so appreciative to you for always pushing me to do things and for knowing me better than anyone else does.

Brittanny Herrera

Brittanny Herrera

Year: Junior

Major: Psychology with a Concentration in Business

Minor: Spanish

Hometown: Charlotte, North Carolina

Types of Dances Performed/Competed: Jazz, Tap, Lyrical, Ballet, Acrobatics, and Spanish Dancing, such as Salsa, Natacha, and much more

Plans After Graduation: I plan to move to Spain to teach English and travel to multiple countries in Europe before I move back to get a corporation job.

Two Things to be Remembered for: 1. My humor. I would like to say I make others laugh every time I am in the room. I always catch myself being a comic relief at times. 2. My advice. When anyone is feeling down or doubting themselves, I hope they remember every time I have been there to hype them up and make them feel better about themselves.

Dance Inspiration: My mom inspired me to dance. My mom was a dancer back in Mexico, but ever since she moved, she had to stop her dreams of dancing. Once I turned three, she found the first dance studio she could. Every year, she would push me, and I always saw it as being mean and doing this for her, but I realized that without dance, I find myself getting bored, wanting to move 24/7. She is proud to see me dancing at a college level.

Elise Spangler

Elise Spangler

Year: Sophomore

Major: Communication Sciences and Disorders

Hometown: Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Types of Dances Performed/Competed: Hip Hop, Jazz, Ballet, Contemporary, Tap, and Acro/Tumbling

Plans After Graduation: I plan to go to graduate school to become a speech pathologist. I have created very high expectations for myself academically and hope to attend a good graduate program and maybe have a private practice for myself at one point in time.

Two Things to be Remembered for: 1. My hard work, dedication, and compassion. 2. I also hope my genuine character is remembered and how I make others feel.

Dance Inspiration: Someone who inspired and encouraged me to be a dancer was my mom. Ever since I was little, I had the privilege of trying out just about every sport or hobby. Obviously, dance was the one to stick! My mom always reminded me of my abilities and definitely showed me tough love. But most importantly, I knew she would always be by my side and support whatever decisions I made when it came to dance, and just wanted to see me happy. Without my mom, I don’t think I would be where I am right now because I was so incredibly nervous to try out for the App State Dance Team my freshman year. I want to thank my mom for always believing in me when I didn’t always believe in myself.

Isleigh Sharpe

Isleigh Sharpe

Year: Sophomore

Major: Graphic Design

Hometown: Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina

Types of Dances Performed/Competed: Jazz, Lyrical, and Contemporary

Plans After Graduation: I plan to continue my passion for dance. I also plan to help people become inspired and find confidence in dance when they feel like an outcast. I want to open up my own dance studio for special needs, giving them a positive environment where they can express themselves in any way they want. Over my years in high school, I also grew a passion for yearbooks. I loved finding the layout and color schemes that best fit the fonts, the words, and the ideas presented. I loved creating, especially layouts of a page. I loved seeing how all the aspects like font, theme, color, text, and image worked together to create the bigger picture (literally). I hope to graduate and live in New York to pursue my dreams by working with a graphic design team for fashion or dance. In the end, whatever I do, I want to be happy.

Two Things to be Remembered for: 1. I was passionate. I was committed to what I wanted and was a true friend. I want everyone to remember that I saw the good in everyone until it was proven different, and that I was stubborn in all the right ways. 2. I want them to remember me and think of my family – my amazing brother who has the biggest heart and motivation like no one I’ve ever met before. My father who taught me that you have to work for what you want and to never settle. My mom for her caring heart and love for helping others. I have looked up to them my whole life.

Dance Inspiration: My mom inspired me to to be the dancer and person I am today. My mom was my dance teacher, cheer coach, English teacher, and dance team coach.She was constantly pushing me to be better and grow. This made our relationship strong. She knows what I am capable of and will never let me show less of that.

Ali Dulin

Ali Dulin

Year: Sophomore

Major: Nursing

Hometown: Concord, North Carolina

Types of Dances Performed/Competed: Tap, Ballet, Jazz, Lyrical, Contemporary, Hip Hop, and Acrobatics

Plans After Graduation: I plan to work as a registered nurse in all areas of the hospital while applying for nurse anesthesiology programs as well.

Two Things to be Remembered for: 1. Being a supportive and trustworthy friend. 2. Working hard to surpass expectations.

Dance Inspiration: Growing up, I think that I only kept dancing because I loved my friends and my teachers. It wasn’t until I entered my freshman year at Elon University on their dance team that I felt a true love for dance. The person who inspired me and fueled this passion was my Coach, Elly Dirks. I want to thank her for her trust in me to perform in our NDA first place Hip Hop dance and for her constant support and encouragement even though I am not at Elon this year.

Emma Drew Boyles

Emma Drew Boyles

Year: Sophomore

Major: Pre-Nursing

Hometown: Millers Creek, North Carolina

Types of Dances Performed/Competed: Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Musical Theater, Lyrical, Contemporary, Hip Hop, and Acrobatics

Plans After Graduation: I plan to work as a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) Nurse.

Two Things to be Remembered for: 1. I was a good friend. I believe one of the biggest blessings in life is having good friends. I think having someone that you can depend on, encourage, and support you it’s super important. I want to do that for my friends and they know I will. 2. I had perseverance. I try hard to have perseverance in the things that matter to me. Whether it is being determined, persistent, or even annoying, I want to get things done and done right. I really tried to not give up.

Dance Inspiration: I might not choose the word inspired, but absolutely the person who encouraged me to pursue my love of dance is my Momma. My Momma is my biggest fan and has always believed in me. She pushes me to do my best and give my all.  My Momma supports me in every way she can. She’s very proud of me, and I know she will always be there to cheer me on.  So thank you Momma for always encouraging and believing in me.

Emily Dixon

Emily Dixon

Year: Sophomore

Major: Communication, Advertising

Minor: Dance

Hometown: Belmont, North Carolina

Types of Dances Performed/Competed: Tap, Jazz, Ballet, Contemporary, Lyrical, Hip Hop, Acro, and Pom

Plans After Graduation: I plan to go into project management and work at a dance studio as well. I then want to open up my own dance studio, which is my ultimate goal and has always been a dream of mine.

Two Things to be Remembered for: 1. Being a positive, caring person. I am naturally a very positive person and I strive to reflect that positivity on the people around me because you never know what someone is going through. 2. Being a good friend. I also value my friends and family very much, and I want to be remembered as a supportive, caring, uplifting friend that was always there for my loved ones when they needed me.

Dance Inspiration: My parents put me in dance classes when I was very young, and I ended up falling in love with it. My family and dance studio were very supportive and encouraging, and they kept me inspired and dedicated to dance. I wouldn’t be the dancer that I am today without my family, my dance friends, and Studio 73 Dance in Huntersville, North Carolina.

Taylor Burchett

Taylor Burchett

Year: Sophomore

Major: Business Management

Hometown: Mount Pleasant, North Carolina

Types of Dances Performed/Competed: Tap, Lyrical, Jazz, Hip Hop, Contemporary, Acro, and more

Plans After Graduation: I plan to work for or manage a business that I am happiest at, whether it be involved in dance or not. My goal is to love what I’m doing and who I’m working with/for, and to use my major.

Two Things to be Remembered for: 1. As a person who was a pleasure to be around, where I make people feel comfortable and open. 2. As someone who had a goal and went for it.

Dance Inspiration: My parents, Tessa and David Burchett, were and still are my biggest supporters. They put me and my sister in dance together at a young age, where I found my hobby for a lifetime. I graduated high school and thought I was done with dance going into my freshman year of college, but quickly realized I missed dance being such a constant in my life. So, going into my sophomore year, I tried out for the team. I was nervous because I hadn’t danced/performed in a year, but my parents were the most supportive and encouraging things in my life, which of course, led me to making the team this year and them coming to Boone for each game. They’ve never missed a performance and continue that tradition. My parents are my best friends and the biggest rocks in my life, who support me in everything I do.

Becky Helton

Becky Helton

Year: Freshman

Major: Elementary Education with a concentration in Psychology

Hometown: Youngsville, North Carolina

Types of Dances Performed/Competed: Clogging, Hip Hop, Pointe, Jazz, Contemporary, Modern, Lyrical, Ballet, Tap, Musical Theater, and Acro

Plans After Graduation: I plan to be an elementary teacher, hopefully in second grade, and I hope to teach in a dance studio 1-2 nights a week.

Two Things to be Remembered for: 1. Being a person everyone can rely on in any way. 2. Being a nice person to be around.

Dance Inspiration: My mom inspired me to dance. She always told me that I could do anything I wanted as long as I worked for it and had a love for it. Thank you Momma for always being my number one supporter, for doing whatever it takes for me to accomplish my dreams, and always encouraging me to put the work in to be what I wanted to be. I love you so much, and I wouldn’t be where I am today without you.

Kennedi Croker

Kennedi Croker

Year: Freshman

Major: History with a Multidisciplinary focus

Hometown: Charlotte, North Carolina

Types of Dances Performed/Competed: Jazz, Tap, Contemporary, Hip Hop, Lyrical, Modern and Ballet

Plans After Graduation: I plan on going to law school to get my law degree and become a lawyer.

Two Things to be Remembered for: 1. Being someone who is trustworthy. 2. Being someone people can lean on when they need a person.

Dance Inspiration: I was encouraged to be a dancer by my mom. I was super shy and active when I was younger, and she was hoping that dance would be a way for me to get out of my shell but also something fun for me to do. She just didn’t think it would become my passion, but I’m glad it did.

Anna Katherine Howard

Anna Katherine Howard

Year: Freshman

Major: Communication Sciences and Disorders

Hometown: Granite Falls, North Carolina

Types of Dances Performed/Competed: Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Contemporary, Lyrical, and Hip Hop

Plans After Graduation: I plan to go to graduate school to obtain a Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology.

Two Things to be Remembered for: 1. My kindness. 2. My willingness to serve others.

Dance Inspiration: Like many little girls, I started dancing because my mom put me in dance classes. Little did she know, that decision would cost her a lot of money down the line. That decision would also lead her daughter to find friends that are like family, to find outstanding role models, to find her passion, and to the Appalachian State Dance Team! Mom, thank you for putting me in dance classes, for taxiing me to classes, for providing so many opportunities for me, and for the endless support through it all. You are a killer dance mom!

Abigail Mayer

Abigail Mayer

Year: Freshman

Major: Nursing

Hometown: Jacksonville, Florida

Types of Dances Performed/Competed: Pom, Jazz, Hip Hop, Contemporary, and Tap

Plans After Graduation: I plan to be a nurse in a hospital, hopefully in a city atmosphere. I plan to live in an apartment with some friends and just enjoy starting a job and being in my early 20s. I want to focus on work and being with friends, which is what I think the early 20s are all about.

Two Things to be Remembered for: 1. Being dedicated to school and my team. 2. Being a role model that others look up to.

Dance Inspiration: My mom has always been a big encouragement to me in dance, and she was the one who originally got me involved in it. However, my first dance teacher Ms. Beth was the biggest influence on me because she was the reason I wanted to continue and learn more about dance.

Maggie Pittmon

Maggie Pittmon

Year: Freshman

Major: Public Health

Hometown: Kannapolis, North Carolina

Types of Dances Performed/Competed: Jazz, Lyrical, and Tap.

Plans After Graduation: I plan to find a job opportunity and start working to begin my life!

Two Things to be Remembered for: 1. My smile. A smile can be so contagious so I try to give someone a big smile everyday because you never know what they’re going through. 2. My encouragement. I try to encourage people to keep pushing themselves and give 100%.

Dance Inspiration: My older sister inspired me to dance. Seeing her dance when I  was little made me want to follow her. My dance teacher and mother were also very inspiring to me because of the strength they both have. Thank you for being my inspiration and teaching me more than just dance but life skills that I will carry with me forever.