Whether it’s at halftime or during a timeout, Ryerson’s dance team is a fixture at Rams games, entertaining the fans and supporting the teams.
But when they’re not cheering for their beloved Rams, the Dance Pak spends time, twice a week, practising for the three collegiate dance competitions they participate in every year.
“Although we perform at basketball games and attend several promotional school events earlier in the year, our main focus is to defend our three competitive titles,” said Madison Hayhoe, one of the co-captains of the team.
March is competition season for the group and last weekend, Ryerson’s Dance Pak competed in the Flashdance University Challenge, the final competition of the season.
The team placed second in both the overall team and overall small group categories, as well as third and fourth in overall large groups. Soloists Melissa Chayer and Sierra Richardson also placed third and seventh in the overall solos category.
Earlier this month, the dance team also participated in the Strive Dance Challenge on March 7, and the Terpsichore Regional Dance Competition, on March 13 and 14.
Chayer and fellow team member Cristina Sinopoli both placed in the top 10 overall soloists at the Strive Dance Challenge.
At the Terpsichore Regional Dance Competition, the group managed to win in several categories, including first place in the large jazz 19 category and second place in small contemporary 19. Chayer placed fifth for overall soloist.
They were also given the Judges’ Choice award for choreography.
Despite the team’s successful season, it hasn’t been easy.
“Our team is significantly smaller this year with only 12 people,” said Hayhoe. “So having to create routines that work with a smaller group can be difficult at times, especially when some school teams have like 40 dancers.”
In addition to the dance competitions, the team was also given the opportunity to perform in front of thousands of people at the Mattamy Athletic Centre during the CIS Men’s Basketball Championships two weeks ago.
“We perform at basketball games throughout the year, and even at the Wilson Cup tournament, but performing at CIS was amazing,” said Hayhoe. “The crowd was so much more pumped than we’ve ever experienced before.”
Although the team has finished its season, those who are returning are already looking forward to next year.
“We’re ready to find some fresh faces for the team at next year’s auditions,” said Hayhoe. “Being a part of the team is like being part of a family.”