Dance Team Debut
April 28, 2009
FRESNO, Calif. - 26 sets of metallic red pom poms swayed and shook with rhythm in the stands Saturday afternoon at the annual spring football scrimmage as the returning Fresno State dance team accompanied the Bulldog marching band for the first time in five years.
Uniformly dressed head to toe in custom dance attire, the energetic, smiling team is the newest addition of the marching band family. Dancing choreographed routines to every song the band plays, which can be up to at least 25 different ensembles in an average football game, the group of dancers will perform in the upcoming 2009-2010 season.
The newly formed dance team is lead by head coach Tiphanie McNiff, an Oakland Raiderette dancer, who was hired by band director Tim Anderson.
"We had auditions in March and had a pretty good turn out," said McNiff. "The girls dance a traditional pom and jazz, upbeat style that includes kick lines and other visual moves. The girls will perform at home games to start, and will perform with the band pre-game and at halftime to their music. It is a huge deal to bring the dance team back."
Roughly 80 dancers auditioned to join the team this spring and only 26 were selected for the final squad.
"The idea to have a dance team came at the New Mexico Bowl this last December," said Anderson. "Band members saw Colorado State take the field with their dance team and thought it was something Fresno State should have. After that, it all came together really quickly and we made it happen."
Two seniors, Allison Sisk and Cindy Adair are co-captains leading the resurrected squad through their first season back. Both say they have been dancing for almost of their lives.
"It has been a great experience so far," said Adair, Kinesiology major. "It is another avenue to cheer on your team and school. We have a tight community with the marching band."
Adair's counter captain, Sisk, is an interior design major who aims to keep the team organized with a lot of encouragements.
"There is a great visual aspect to our dance," said Sisk. "We're almost like song leaders and we have a choreographed dance for every song, so we work extremely closely with the marching band. I like that I can get involved and give back to my school."
The jazz savvy performers will join the band and color guard on the field for this season's halftime schedule dressed dance ready in white halter top dresses, equipped with the Bulldog logo and red lettering.
The team will continue to practice every week and is currently promoting their team through selling screen printed t-shirts that read "I love dance team." T-Shirts are available through the marching band director, Tim Anderson.
"It will really come together in August, "said Anderson. "We're going to teach the dancers to march at camp. It is going to be very exciting."