Photo courtesy of Elsie Tenpas.
This week I had the opportunity to sit down with newly elected Lawrence University Dance Team (LUDT) sophomore captains Arianna Fearing and Elsie Tenpas to discuss their relationships to the team and their goals for the coming season.
Sarah Grubbe: The trimester system is a fast paced one, what does it mean that the dancers of the team are willing and able to carve out six hours a week for practice and how does it benefit the team as a whole?
Arianna Fearing: Right now the team is full of dedicated dancers and the success of the dance team is dependent on individual growth. We challenge each other not only to grow in our own personal lives, but as self-directed dancers as well. I know that I’ve grown not only as a dancer in form but as a performer—I’ve gained confidence and I’ve learned to have fun doing what I love to do!
Elsie Tenpas: We set both personal goals as well as team goals and we’d really love to shoot for some future competitions. We practice for six hours a week and it seems to be a small sacrifice for something that means so much to us and is so enjoyable!
SG: Does the Dance Team share these goals and joys of dance with the community at large at all?
ET: The LUDT hosts periodic dance workshops that are open to the community through I am: Appleton Moves, an outreach program sponsored by the team that allows kids to get up and get moving! We bring in amazing guest choreographers and we also offer workshops to the Lawrence student body.
SG: What do you look forward to most as the newly appointed team captains?
AF: Before LUDT, I’d never had the opportunity to do poms and it is so much fun! I look forward to pushing the team to grow and I am very excited to start choreographing.
SG: In which ways does the LUDT have a positive impact on campus and within your own personal lives?
AF: As a transfer student, dance team welcomed me into the community. I love the fact that dance team allows me to intermix my love for dance and my passion for community involvement. Dance team is an escape and each dancer is given the ability to show off their individual talents and that freedom creates a welcoming environment that feels like a home in the Lawrence community.
ET: We collaborate quite a bit and these dancers have become close friends of mine–dance team is a community of tightly knit individuals.
SG: Do you have any major goals for the direction of the team in the coming season?
ET: I’d love to see more of a presence for the LUDT on campus—more fundraisers and more performances. Right now we’re gearing up for the Spring Dance Show and it’s going to be great!
You can catch Elsie, Arianna and the LUDT performing at the Spring Dance show on May 20 at 6:30 p.m. and May 21 at 2 p.m. in the Stansbury theatre!