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Meet the captain of ISU’s Redline Express Dance Team: Sarah Jaris!

Name: Sarah Jaris

Year: Senior

Major: Communication Sciences and Disorders

Hometown: Schaumburg, IL

Favorite Hobby: Dance!

Current Craving: York Peppermint Patties


Sarah, tell me a little about yourself! Well, I’m Sarah! I’m from Schaumburg, IL and I went to Schaumburg High School. My major is Communication Sciences and Disorders. With that, I want to become a Speech-Language Pathologist and work in elementary schools helping students in need. I am one of the captains of the Redline Express Dance Team, and I have two poodles at home!

What has your dance career been like leading up to Redline? I have been dancing since I was three. So, 18 years of dance have passed! My mom put me in classes, and then I danced through the park district until 8th grade. I was in the dance troupe there. We moved to a new studio when I was in high school, and I danced there. The last two years of my high school years I danced on the competitive team.


How did you become captain of the Redline Express Dance Team? Going into my junior year of college, my coach actually asked me before we started the audition process for Redline auditions if I’d be interested in being a captain with the two seniors. And I was just like, “I’ll think about it!” And then at the end of the day, I was definitely interested.

Awesome! What does it mean for you to be the captain? What does that entail? As a captain, we help run practices with the team. If we have any extra Monday or Wednesday practices, we will help run those if our coach can’t be there. We also get to help choreograph sometimes and we teach sidelines in the summer.


Tell me more about choreographing! Yes, so last year I choreographed a sideline with the captains and this year, for our next show, the captains will choreograph the burlesque song. It’s a sassy piece!   


How often does the Redline team practice? We practice Monday, Wednesday, Friday with BRMM which is the Big Red Marching Machine for two hours. And then if we need it, we will have additional Monday and Wednesday practices for another two hours.

How is your last year on Redline going? It’s good so far. It’s kinda bittersweet because my friends and I who are all seniors are like this is our year of lasts! Like this past weekend, we had our last expedition to check off our lists. Everything is like the last time we will do things together so it’s very bittersweet.


How close are the girls on Redline? I’d say we are all pretty close. We see each other all the time and then there a bunch of people on the team that live together. We are always hanging out. We are definitely a squad.

What will you miss the most about being on Redline? I’ll miss performing at football and basketball games the most.


What is your favorite dance you get to do on Redline? My favorite dance would be a sassy jazz!  


What is it like performing in front of so many people in the BRMM? I love performing! I love the adrenaline rush when you walk onto the field and there’s just like tons of people.

Do you do anything else connected to Redline? I run the Redline Instagram page.


Are you apart of any other clubs or organizations besides Redline? I am in NSSLHA which stands for National Student Speech Language Hearing Association. It is a group for students who are in the major Communication Sciences and Disorders like myself and it gives us opportunities to feel out what a professional with a CSD background would do career wise and lets us all come together as one major. I work with my advisor for Communication Sciences and Disorders on social media for the major. We have a Facebook page and we just started an Instagram page this semester. I’m also apart of the Dance Association which is a registered student organization that supports dancers on campus and offers workshops for them to better their skills.

How did you choose your major? Well, my mom was a kindergarten teacher. She told me to shadow a Speech-Language Pathologist at her school. I did and I thought it was cool, so I went with it and then the first class I had my freshman year was related to CSD. I loved it, and it was overall a good fit for me.


How do you fit in school with all of the work you are doing? What are your main priorities as a student at ISU? School comes first over everything. I’m passionate about Redline and it comes next, but I want to go to class and get good grades. That’s why I’m here in the first place! That’s the reason I’m in college. I want to be in good academic standing. I feel like I’m always doing something or researching something. I am pretty much studying all of the time though to keep my GPA. I try to get eight hours of sleep every night and I try to eat healthy to be the best person I can be.

So you are a star-studded student then?! Oh yeah, 4.0 GPA!


What do you do in your free time when you are not studying, dancing or mastering your major? I like to watch Netflix and Hulu! Right now I’m watching The Mindy Project. My favorite character has to be Danny Castellano. If I have time, I will go hang out with friends. I like to facetime my family. I’m very close with my siblings and my dogs. I have two poodles, Zoe and Cooper!

What are your plans for after graduation? Well right now I’m in the process of applying for grad school, so hopefully, by May of next year, I’ll know where I’m going. I’ll be on the process of moving towards wherever I’m going and then getting started in the summer. I want to be an SLP which is a Speech-Language Pathologist.

Where are you applying? That’s a good question! I have to apply to like eight to ten schools. My top two are ISU of course because it’s home and Northern Illinois University.


Are you planning on dancing after college? It’s sad to think about because I don’t know! In my head I have always pictured myself on the TV show DCC Making The Team, which is the Dallas Cowboy cheerleader team and there are other teams that are professional cheerleader/dance teams I could be part of but I don’t know if that’s in the cards just yet. I dream about it!

What is the one thing that you are most looking forward to as you finish up your senior year? At our next game on October 6th, we are doing something called being a BRMM member for the day, so my little sister who plays clarinet will be marching on the same field I am and that will be really cool!  


    You can find Sarah and the rest of the Redline Express Dance Team performing at all football games and basketball games.

If you want to learn more about ISU’s Communication Sciences and Disorders Department visit their Facebook page: Illinois State University CSD Department and their Instagram: @isucsd.


    If you want to keep track of the Redline Express Dance Team check out their Instagram: @isuredlineexpress and their Twitter: @isuredlinedance.


    You can also follow Sarah and find out what she is up to on her Instagram: @sarahjaris


Shine Bright <3


Mimi McNulty

Illinois State '20

Hey there! I'm Mimi McNulty. I'm 22 years old and I am a Public Relations major at Illinois State University. Writing has always been a passion of mine and I want to turn the world upside down by telling it like it is. If I were to give a TED Talk it would be about how to sustain a wild heart. Please keep reading my pieces to receive your daily dose of hilarity, security and as much knowledge that I have to share! I'm here to say we've all been there. Shine Bright
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