Butler University Dance Team
Who We Are
We are a jazz, hip-hop, pom and kick-based team that is comprised of anywhere from 17 to 20 members.
We are a student-led organization. The team is led by three co-captains who are elected at the end of each academic year by team members. In addition, we have a faculty advisor who meets with the captains and provides overall guidance.
What We Do
Joining the dance team is a year-long commitment. Tryouts occur in the fall to determine the team for each academic year.
The team performs at several home fall football games, all of the men's home basketball games, and many of the women's home basketball games. We also perform at other events on and off campus throughout the year.
In recent years, the team's other campus appearances have included Yell Like Hell (a Greek-life competition), Relay for Life, and Geneva Stunts (an all-campus event). We have performed off campus at other universities, large high school state dance team competitions, and the NCAA tournament.
Beyond our regular performances, our team also hosts a dance clinic for children ages 6-10. This event not only helps us with fundraising, but also allows us to be more involved with our community. During a four-hour clinic, we introduce kids to several different dance techniques and teach them a routine that can be performed at a Butler sporting event later on that day.
- The team typically practices three times a week for two hours each night. The times and dates of practices are determined after fall tryouts based on the schedules and availability of the new team members. Last year, for example, we practiced Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday anywhere from 7:00-10:00 p.m. During basketball season, however, we sometimes hold extra practices to accommodate game nights.
- Non-major dance classes are NOT required for being a member of the team. However, in the past, we have had several team members participate in those classes.
- During the year, we learn between eight and 10 dances, depending on the number of performances scheduled. Early in the season, the co-captains typically choreograph the routines. Later in the season, however, any interested team member is invited to choreograph a dance for one of the games.
- In the past, we have also hired an outside choreographer to help us with routines for important events, such as Geneva Stunts.
- Tryouts occur early in the fall semester of each academic year.
- Information about tryouts will be posted on fliers around campus, announced in the Butler News Digest and available at the Butler Block Party held the day before classes begin.
- Anyone interested in joining the dance team is welcome to try out. No experience is necessary, and you do not need to register or sign up for auditions.
- Tryouts begin with learning a routine that incorporates several dance styles, such as hip-hop, jazz and pom. After a lunch break that allows time for review and practice of the routine, potential team members perform the routine in groups of three or four in front of judges. Then, each dancer individually completes several technical skills such as split leaps, switch leaps, pirouettes, right and left splits and turns in second/fouettes. Acrobatic skills are also welcome, but are not required.
- In recent years, between 35 and 50 students have auditioned for the team, and we have formed teams ranging in size from 17 to 20 members. The number of team members and composition of the team depends on both individual talent and on how well the whole group coalesces and dances as a team.
- As a student-led organization, the team typically engages in several fundraisers each year to help cover costs of new uniforms, additional costumes or competitions.
- In the past, our fundraisers have included bake sales, t-shirt sales, invited performances, assisting with community events, and our Dance Team Clinic.
- The expected cost to our Dance Team members are:
- $40 Initial Activities Fee
- $30 Black Pants (new members only)
- $30 Black Jazz Shoes
- $30 Tan Jazz Shoes
- $50 Sponsor Forms
- $70 Additional costs for costumes or other expenses (varies from year to year)
- To cover the cost of the sponsor forms, many team members ask family members or friends to serve as sponsors. Additional contributions from friends and family are always welcome as well!
- We know that every team member's financial situation is unique. If costs are a prohibitive factor for joining the team, we will work with individual team members.
If you have any other questions or want more information about the Butler Dance Team, please feel free to contact our faculty advisor, Lindsay Gardner. You can also find us on Facebook by searching 'Butler University Dance Team.'