Following placing first at the Arnold Classic in the Cheerleading and Dance competition, the Ohio State University Club Dance Team is ready to shine in the Sunshine State.
The OSU Club Dance Team — founded by president Julie Domicone, a third-year in operations management — is a group of 15 girls that competes on both regional and national levels in dance competitions. After it competed at the Arnold Classic and earned a first place finish at Cheerleaders of America Midwest Invitationals, the team is in the midst of its preparation as the only club level team in the National Cheer and Dance competition in Daytona Beach, Florida, on April 6.
Domicone says she has been dancing for many years now, and after missing the cut for the OSU Dance Team as a freshman, she noticed there wasn’t a club version available on campus. Figuring out budgets, contracts and planning for events, all while dancing as a part of the group Domicone admits she wasn’t fully aware of all the job would entail when she first started. That’s when she found Jordan Gaydos, a fourth-year in sports industry to help with organizational responsibilities in 2014.
Domicone and Gaydos agreed the team’s experience in the previous two events were important, as it was the first time some members on the team had competed. Although winning was a high priority for the team, Gaydos and Domicone were happy for the feedback from the judges.
“We can practice as much as we want in a studio, but we won’t actually get the experience of performing in front of hundreds of people,” Gaydos said. “I can watch a number so many times and not see something someone else might, so it’s a good way to get another set of eyes.”
Amanda Coleman, a second-year in visual communications and a member of the team, also felt the experience from performing in front of a large audience has been important for some of the more inexperienced dancers.
“Some of the girls haven’t done competitions,” Coleman said. “It’s good for us to get some experience on the floor and competing in front of people because this is what it’s like at nationals in Daytona.”
The team does mostly upbeat jazz routines, all choreographed by Gaydos, with a new two-minute routine for each competition. The team has practice two to three nights a week, where they have been rehearsing a new routine created in January and smoothing out any imperfections. From coaching and choreographing an entire performance, Gaydos admits it can be challenging.
“It is hard, I spent my entire winter break in a studio trying to figure (the choreography) out,” Gaydos said. “It was even hard choosing the song, you want the best song you can envision art and dance too.”
Along with the Arnold Classic and the COA Midwest Invitational, the group has also performed at BuckeyeThon and in the Homecoming Parade. No matter the size of the venue, when people reach out and ask them to perform at their event, they choose a simple response: “That’s just what we do,” Gaydos said.
Editor’s Note: A previous version of this article omitted Jordan Gaydos’ name