Dance Club brings spirit to sidelines

Andrea Martinez, Copy Editor

In an athletic department that lacks certain sports, CSUSM students make up for them by taking the initiative to run clubs.

One of the longest standing sports clubs at CSUSM, the Dance Club is a place for dancers to feel a sense of belonging brought together by a similar passion.

A dancer nearly all her life, senior Michelle Fekete joined the club as a freshman in fall 2012 and  became president in fall 2015, giving her the opportunity to develop strong friendships and get involved on campus.

“My best friendships are all from dance. Being more apart of the school and providing a lot of spirit … makes me feel more [involved] with the campus,” said Fekete.

Coach Cecili Chadwick said, “Michelle has done a fantastic job. She’s really the perfect person to be the captain of the team. She has a natural professionalism about her that I really think other dancers respond to.”

Chadwick, a Women’s Studies lecturer at CSUSM, danced professionally for about 8 years and has taught dance for 12 years. She previously volunteered to coach the girls from 2014 to 2015 and just started again in February.

“It’s been great. I think the team has really grown over the time I’ve worked with them … It’s hard organizationally for them because they’re student-run, so there’s a ton of responsibility that falls on their shoulders,” said Chadwick. “I think they do a great job managing that responsibility.”

The girls perform jazz, hip hop and pom at campus events and games, and jazz at competition.

The Dance Club competes at the USA Collegiate Championships (Nationals) every year among other dance teams that include both student-run clubs and college/university-funded teams. They placed fourth in the nation in 2015, an impressive accomplishment as a student-run club. They’ll compete again in Anaheim in March.

“Last year we got fourth at competition, which was the cut-off to get recognized and get a trophy and that was a big, big deal,” said Treasurer Amanda Cole. “We had been working so hard and just trying to get recognized because we are fairly small and we’re student-run, so that was probably the biggest accomplishment.”

The Dance Club’s biggest performance after Nationals is the 2016 Annual Spring Showcase in April on campus, where they will present the different styles they practice.

The Dance Club has tryouts twice a year in April and September. For more information on the club, visit