Major: Public Relations & Advertising
Hometown: Crawfordsville, IN
Campus Activities: Purdue Dance Team, PRSSA, NSCS, Lambda Pi Eta, Alpha Lambda Delta Phi Eta Sigma, Student Assistant at Dauch Alumni Center (Office of Special Events)
HC: How did you get involved in the Purdue Dance Team?
CC: I tried out for the team my senior year of high school. I knew about it because a girl I have danced with since 6th grade is a year ahead of me and had been on the team for the previous year.
HC: How long have you been a dancer?
CC: My mom enrolled me in my first ballet class when I was 4 years old. Haven't stopped since!
HC: What is the most rewarding part about being involved in PDT?
CC: Being able to spread Boilermaker spirit here at Purdue as well as at competitions. Football games allow us to interact with fans and especially seeing the joy in younger fans' faces when we do a cheer or dance for them makes all the practicing worth it. When we travel to local competitions for a performance or to Nationals, hearing people cheer for Purdue, for us, is one of the best feelings in the world.
HC: What is the most challenging part of being on the Purdue Dance Team?
CC: The most challenging part is balancing school, work, other activities and dance. We practice 3 nights a week and have performances throughout the year. But having so much to do is a blessing as well because you have to learn how to efficiently manage time and your workload.
HC: Which do you prefer: practice or the competitions?
CC: Definitely competitions. They're the culmination of our efforts at practice throughout the entire year. Coming together as a team right before we walk out on the floor is such a rush; knowing that you have 17 other girls that love dance as much as you do is a great feeling.
HC: What's the best way you prepare/de-stress for a competition?
CC: We like to have fun. We turn on music, dance around and joke a lot. It's a great way to shake off the nerves. We also do a team huddle right before performing with last minute words of advice and encouragement that really gets us in the mindset to go out and perform to the best of our abilities.
HC: Does the PDT have any fun traditions?
CC: Of course! We have pre-camp: 3 days before leaving for NDA summer camp during which we get to come together for the first time as a new team and spend time getting to know one another. We also do team dinners before every home football game in the fall, as well as several team dinners in the spring. We do a lot of team bonding, which is what makes us so closely knit as a team.
HC: Do you think you will continue on with dance after graduation?
CC: I hope so! Wherever my professional career takes me, I hope to somehow be involved in dance. Whether coaching a team of my own or choreographing for other teams, I plan on always staying actively involved with dance.
HC: Do you have any advice for Purdue Dance Team hopefuls?
CC: Practice! Visit our website and Facebook pages to see what our requirements are and practice for tryouts. It helps to be prepared. Also be confident and approachable. We want girls to be on our team that WANT to be on our team, so it always helps to have a smile and some great technique to back it up.
Photos Courtesy of Cristin Coons