Sophie Crespi '18

Name: Sophie Crespi

Age: 19

Major: Sport Management

Minor: Business

Class of: 2018

Hometown: Boulder, Colorado

1. Why did you choose to come to KU?

 I chose KU because I wanted to explore new things and go somewhere away from my comfort zone. I was ready for change. 

2. What activities and organizations are you involved in?

I am on the Rock Chalk Dance Team

3. As a Rock Chalk Dancer, how much time do you spend in a typical week practicing?

During the summer, we practice in July from 9AM-4PM everyday until we leave for camp which is held at the beginning of August. When football season starts we practice from 6-9pm Mondays and Wednesdays, and on Friday we have band practice at 4, then regular practice from 5-8pm. We also have workouts three times a week in the morning before class. It changes a lot during basketball season because of games that are held on school nights. 

4. What made you want to commit to this team?

I love the tradition and atmosphere that The University of Kansas has to offer. I love performing, and being able to represent KU as a Rock Chalk Dancer is a privilege that I’m incredibly thankful that I have. I want to take dance to a higher level, so RCD is the perfect gateway to fulfill my dreams of becoming an NFL cheerleader.

 

5 What is your favorite KU memory?

So far my favorite KU memory is Late Night in the Phog. I never knew about KU Basketball until I became a Rock Chalk Dancer and being able to experience the excitement from the best seats in the house was incredible. I get goose bumps just thinking about it. Oh and dancing in front of 16,000 fans was pretty amazing too.

6. Where do you see yourself in five years? 10?

Five years from now I see myself living in Denver, Colorado working in the Sports Media Publicity as a publicist and being a Denver Broncos Cheerleader. Ten years from now, after I lock down a solid career in the sport industry, I see myself happily married with a puppy and 1, maybe 2, little kids. 

7. How is being a rock chalk dancer different from being a cheerleader?

The Rock Chalk Dancers kind of play both roles when it comes to game day. We have to chant and cheer on the sidelines like the cheerleaders do, but we don’t stunt like they do. We get to dance to overhead or band music during time-outs and halftime. It’s especially fun during basketball season because we have a gym floor to step out of cheerleader mode for a few minutes and really dance for the crowd. 

8. How does a typical RCD react to someone referring to them as a cheerleader?

We usually just politely correct them if it’s appropriate, but the majority of the time we let it slide. It’s exciting when fans know the difference! 

9. How long have you been dancing?

I actually haven’t been dancing for a long time. I was on my high school dance team for four years before I tried out for Rock Chalk, but I have never had any prior intense studio training like a lot of the other girls on the team.

10. What kinds of changes do RCD have to make to their normal daily routine as a commitment to the group? (time, diet, exercise, other?) 

My life changed a lot after becoming an RCD. We have to be able to manage and balance early morning workouts, class, homework, exams, appearances, practices, games, a social life, and having a job basically year round. It was a tough transition at first, but after a while you get used to the busy schedule. When basketball season ended this year I had so much time on my hands, I actually got bored and wished I had a lot to do. As far as exercise and diets go, you’d actually be surprised how much food we eat. You’d think we were the football team. I can say that I focus on making exercise a part of my daily routine. I like feeling confident in our uniforms. Especially knowing that I’ll be dancing in front of thousands of people at games and because we are shown on national television. 11. Is there a RCD hierarchy of some sort? What position do you hold on the squad?

I wouldn’t say that it’s a hierarchy, but there is definitely authority within the team. We have two captains and a bunch of returners every year that have been a part of the program for multiple years, and they know how things work. We all have the same duties as an RCD. We are all committed to this team and everything it entails. As a newbie this year, I was on the learning side of things, but quickly understood what it meant to be a Rock Chalk Dancer. Most importantly we are ambassadors for the university. We represent the Jayhawks in a professional and positive way. 

12. What advice would you give to incoming KU freshmen?

One of the most important things I would advise an incoming freshman to do at KU aside from putting your studies first is get involved. Whether it be intramural sports, a book club, or the chess team… it doesn’t matter. Just get involved. I guarantee you’ll meet incredible individuals that you can relate to and connect with. The second most important is to have fun. You’re young, you’re in college. Things will fall apart sometimes, but its okay! You’re here for a reason so don’t take it for granted. Step out of your comfort zone so you can grow and learn.