Dance teams end semester with performance today

Carolyn Mackenzie, Contributing Writer

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Swing Team is performing for the last time this semester tonight. The doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and the show begins at 7 p.m. Photo by Elizabeth Kerin.

Tonight at 7 p.m. marks the final performance of the semester for University of Dallas dance teams.

This will be the last performance for the Swing Team’s only senior, Brandon Ashton, who looked back fondly on his experience on the team over his years at UD.

“The team dynamic is a lot of fun,” Ashton said.

Led by co-captains Carolyn Davis and Julie Gallagher, Swing Team has had an active semester, performing at Earth Day Texas this past weekend and presenting a showcase at April’s Meet Us at the Tower.

Both Ashton and junior Sarah Tafolla shared their enthusiasm for their favorite part of Swing Team: aerials.

“It’s a great workout,” Ashton said. “I could either lift metal above my head or lift beautiful women above my head.”

The performance is sure to include aerials and much more. Though past routines have run around three and a half minutes, tonight’s is more ambitious, at about five minutes. In addition to this number, Lyrical Team and Irish Dance will perform, and Ashton and Tafolla will dance a duet.

“It takes an entire semester of practicing in order to put together the five-minute routine that you see at the end of the year,” Tafolla said. “We’ve been practicing all semester to do that.”

Swing Team has embraced this challenge and has been practicing four times a week, an increase from the five hours a week they already have dedicated.

This semester has not been without its challenges. As two female captains, Davis and Gallagher have had to diversify their approach to choreography.

“We’ve had to learn guy parts and figure out how to work as a guy would,” Davis said. “Trying to create that balance between the counterparts … is a different way of thinking and has tested us in a lot of ways.”

Although they have thought about performing competitively, Davis said that they would have to restructure the goals of Swing Team, going more for technique and precision.

“As far as I know, there isn’t a college swing division that we’d be able to level up with,” Davis said.

For now, Swing Team will continue to present the dynamic and well-rehearsed routines that the members so enjoy.

“As soon as you put guys and girls together, something happens,” Davis said. “They just get excited and it’s a different dynamic than leading people who are not partners.”

Swing Team is excited to share its semester’s worth of work tonight in what is sure to be a spectacular performance.

“It’s new and never before seen,” Tafolla said.

The performance will be tonight, April 27, at 7 p.m. in the Maher Gym.

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