The Boston University Dance and Cheer teams were showered with applause and encouragement as they held a pep rally at Case Gym on Sunday afternoon before their trip to Daytona Beach, Florida this week for the NCA and NDA Collegiate National Championship.
“I think the dance team did a really great job today. The cheer team did a really good job today,” dance team head coach Anna Rodier said. “Having that audience and having people here to support us and cheer for us before we head down to Florida has been amazing. And you can definitely feel the energy in this gym. It was awesome.”
The BU Pep Band kicked off the rally with an energetic performance of DJ Khaled’s “All I Do Is Win,” before both Rodier and cheer team head coach Lauren Mayer introduced the BU Dance team — who performed their choreographed routine to a host of songs, though they could barely be heard over the cheers from the crowd.
“I think everyone, veterans who have been on the team for three years and freshmen who have been on the team for one year, just improved so much. We dance more as a team now than we did back in September. And just every practice, we come in and we really push through every practice,” Rodier said about the team.
Following a quick break for a mat setup, the cheer team came flipping and tumbling out for their performance with a number of dangerous and difficult stunts, including launching junior Hillary Jacobs onto senior Isabelle Goode’s shoulders, who was already on top of a pyramid. The stunt brought “The Roof” to its feet as a multitude of oohs and aahs rang out from the crowd.
“It’s our first performance. We’ve been working really, really hard on this routine since October, and we’ve had a lot of obstacles to overcome,” Mayer said. “Nervous anxiety at first but I think when everyone saw the crowd and their friends and family, they got really, really excited. And I think that they put on a really good show after that. That nervous energy kind of melted away and turned into excitement.”
After a break for a costume change, filled with the sweet sounds of the BU Pep Band, the dance team’s hip hop group finished the rally to a mashup of multiple songs, receiving a standing ovation to end it all. A steady stream of friends, families and supporters joined the performers on the court afterward for dozens of photos.
“The energy was awesome. We had a larger turnout than we expected and it was really nice to see supporting teams come out and watch us dance,” dance team freshman Alexa Tusiani said.
A number of fellow BU athletes came out to support the two teams. Most of the women’s basketball team cheered on their fellow female athletes, a role reversal of the winter season. The BU Bands also came in support of the teams.
“I didn’t really know that they were going to come until the last minute. For the band to show up and women’s basketball to show up, I think it was really awesome. We are at every single one of their games supporting them and it was really awesome to see them turn around and find it important to come support us,” Mayer said.
The dance team will have its first performance in Daytona on Thursday, April 7 at 3:53 p.m. in the Team Division 1 performance and again on Friday, April 8 at 7:31 p.m. in the Division 1 Hip Hop performance.
The cheer team will compete in the Advanced Small Coed Division 1 at 2:48 p.m. on Thursday as well.
“We just need to be focused on ourselves and what we practice all year,” Rodier said on her aspirations for her team this week.
Mayer shared similar aspirations for her team: “Looking forward to getting there and getting on the bandshell and just performing. Really showing our full routine to its full potential and all that hard work to the judges.”
What great article. Goode luck to the BU Cheer and Dance Teams as the head to Daytona! This is what you’ve all been working for (and have missed the last 2 years.) We know all your hard work will pay off. The Goodes will be there to cheer you on! Have fun! Special shout out to senior Isabelle Goode! Go BU!
Good Luck BU Dancers!! All these lovely young women are soo beautiful and talented It is wonderful watching them perform!! We wish them the Best of everything in Daytona!!
Great article David!!