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Oregon Dance Team Interview

College dance teams represent the pinnacle of competition for dance, in this article we will explore what it takes to compete at such a high level.  At the college level of dance only the best of the best get to compete.  The University of Oregon Ducks Dance Team represents some of the most talented, and passionate dancers from around the nation, and for this post I was lucky enough to talk with Lizzy Stice coach of the Oregon Ducks dance team.

This article is a must read for every young dancer looking to find out what it takes to be a great dancer at the college level.  Lizzy is not only the head coach for the Ducks, but she runs regular clinics to help prepare young dancer for the exciting world of dance.  Below is the interview with Lizzy who has great advice for all the young dancers out there, some insight on the excitement of competing at the college level, and of course a little bit of info on her amazing dance team. 

Bailar Dancewear:In your opinion what separates the University of Oregon Dance Team from other teams?

Lizzy Stice:  The University of Oregon Dance Team is the only competitive collegiate dance team in the state of Oregon. We have a strong legacy of technically trained dancers who are well versed in both Jazz and in Hip Hop.

University of Oregon Ducks Dance Team
The 2013 Oregon Ducks Dance Team

Bailar Dancewear:  What kind of training do you recommend for someone looking to make the UO dance team?

Lizzy Stice: We recommend that dancers be well trained in both hip-hop, and jazz. We look for flexibility, and a strong background in jazz technique.  For example the ability to perform triple pirouettes, a la second turns, leg holds, and leg hold turns. We look for natural ability to perform hip-hop style routines, as well as a variety of hip-hop stahls. To make the UO dance team you have to have the ability to pick up on choreography quickly, not miss details and be able to take constructive criticism well. We also look for a dancer who gets along well with the peers, is a team player, respectful, gives 110% and will represent the University well. 

Bailar Dancewear:What has been your dance team’s biggest accomplishment?

Lizzy Stice:  The University of Oregon Dance team won a National Title back in 2006 in the 4-year College Hip Hop Division at USA Nationals. That same year we also placed 3rd in the Open Dance Division at USA Nationals.

Bailar Dancewear:  Your team holds regular clinics, what should a student expect when going to your clinic?

Lizzy Stice:  We strive to hold clinic’s that really push dancers to grow, realize their full potential, and give them opportunities to see what it’s like to be a collegiate dancer. We focus on stretching, conditioning, technique across the floor and center work. We like to teach one to two routines in both hip hop and jazz quickly.  This makes it so they are pushed to pick up the material, as well as pick up details that will set them apart from the rest.  These skills will help the young dancers when it comes to auditioning in the future.

Bailar Dancewear:  In your opinion what makes good dance clothing?

Lizzy Stice:  Good dance clothes, make a dancer feel comfortable in there own skin, fit well in all the right places and are an extension of their movement.

Bailar Dancewear:  What are your goals for this year?

Lizzy Stice:  This year we will be attending two different Collegiate Dance Competitions. USA Championships and NDA Nationals. Our goal is to always do better than we did last year. We are pushing our selves this year by competing at two National competitions. We want to work as hard as we can during the year, so that we can leave it all on the dance floor come nationals season. My girls train almost year around, practice 3-4 days a week, which includes technique, choreography and team workouts. As well as performing at the U of O for Football in the Moshofsky center, multiple Men and Women UO Basketball games,  UO Men’s Lacrosse and UO Hockey games, community events, appearances
and high school dance competitions around the state of Oregon.

By: Cyndi Marziani Owner Bailar Dancewear

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