Texas Wesleyan University’s dance team begins a new chapter that coincides with the return of football.
Head cheer coach Carolyn Ikens used to coach both cheer and dance, but new head dance coach Emily Snow will focus exclusively on dance.
“Carolyn has struggled to make it successful, as she had been focused on cheer,” said Snow, a former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader.
In the dance program’s first meeting, on Aug. 18, Snow met with both old and new recruits to discuss her plans for the program.
“I want to grow the team separate from cheer with a large squad,” Snow said, “the larger the better. Our first performance will be at Wesleyan’s Midnight Madness event.”
Midnight Madness will be held Oct. 15.
Snow’s ultimate goal is to have a full squad to perform for the football games starting in the fall of 2017.
“I am hoping to have a squad of at least 25 for field performances, and for enhancing the band’s halftime performance during the football season,” Snow said.
According to a biography passed out at the Aug. 18 meeting, Snow graduated from Richland High School and became a Cowboys cheerleader while at the University of North Texas. She cheered for the Cowboys for four years, and for 10 years worked with the Miami Dolphins’ cheerleaders.
In order for the squad to possibly compete in the future, Snow would need to have at least 16 dancers, but plans on developing the squad’s performances regardless of its size for now, she said.
“I love all styles of dance, from kick-lines to hip-hop, and I hope to incorporate this into our choreography,” Snow said.
Senior Taylor Tyler, a returning dancer, felt there was a lack of direction last season, and is excited about having a new coach.
“Emily’s ideas for the dance program are exactly what me and the other returning dance team members were fighting for last year,” Tyler said.
Sophomore biology major Arlyssa Moaning, another returning dancer, shares Tyler’s excitement.
“I believe the dance team is only going up from here, with a coach and girls who are dedicated to the team,” Moaning said. “I see this team expanding greatly in the future, especially with football coming back to Wesleyan.”
Snow will be hosting two open NFL-style dance classes for students in the Sid W. Richardson Center on Tuesday and next Tuesday, from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tryouts and practices for the dance program will begin in the next few weeks on Tuesdays and Thursdays, times and locations to be announced.
For more information, contact the cheer and dance department at 817-531-4240.