Bearcats Dance Team Members Seniors Spotlight

One of the most storied collegiate dance teams in the nation, the UC Dance Team has won seven national titles and ten world titles to date. And if this year’s class of seniors has it their way, they’ll add even more accomplishments to the program’s growing resume this year.

Given their competitive success and role in Bearcats game day culture, we thought it might be helpful to hear from the senior dancers about what they look forward to this season…

Erika Cane: “With this being my fourth year on the team, I’m looking forward to the new challenges and opportunities this season has to offer. My previous three years have been so different and so rewarding in their own ways. I’m most excited to get on that nationals mat one last time and close the chapter on my college dance career. That feeling of exhaustion and satisfaction all at once comes at the end of a nationals routine when I’m standing next to my best friends, knowing we gave every last ounce of energy and soul into what we have worked on all season. It gives me chills just thinking about it and I cannot wait, go Cats!”

Courtney Willman: “My name is Courtney Willman. I am a fourth year on the team. Outside of dance, I’m a marketing major, business analytics and psychology minor. I am very excited for fall sports mostly because it’s my last year, and I just really want to be able to soak in everything. Everyone always says that it goes by so fast, which is cliché, but also so true. Never again will I have the chance to dance in Nippert or in Fifth Third after this year, so I just want to enjoy every second. We have a really awesome vibe and connection on the team this year, along with some crazy talented dancers. That makes me really excited to see what we can do this year. Everything we do is for nationals, so I’m looking forward to the journey to get there and to see what we put on the floor the in January.”

Amber Roberts: “I’m a fourth year here at UC in the heath sciences department pursuing my dream of becoming a physical therapist! Fall sports are my absolute favorite because I feel like the entire campus has this charge surrounding it! Everyone just got back and everyone is reminded of how amazing it is to be a Bearcat!! I am so excited for the upcoming dance season because it’s officially my last go around! I can tell that there is something very special about his group of ladies that I am surrounded with this year and I can’t wait to see what crazy heights we achieve!”

Caroline Kelley: “Being on the University of Cincinnati dance team required a lot of dedication and hard work. This year, it is easier to do those things because of the special group of girls that we have. Each girl has truly embraced our goal of positivity and taken it to a new level. We are constantly pushing each other to be better dancers inside and outside of the gym. I am personally excited about cheering at football games this year because of the bond that we already have. The bond between each class and girl normally does not come until the end of basketball season. The fact that it is already here means that this season is off to a great start and we only want to continue to grow.”

Demi Peterson: “Hi, I’m Demi Peterson. I’m a fifth year from Seattle, Washington studying health education with a focus in Exercise & Fitness. I am currently a personal trainer and work at our campus recreation center! I have been on the team for four years coming up on my fifth and football season is my favorite part of Dance! I love being able to stand out on Nippert and cheering in front of thousands of fans! The atmosphere is so intense and getting to see our Cats score a touchdown right in front of me is always the best. I’m super excited for everything about this season as it is my last year, I hope to take in as much as I can and enjoy dancing for one last time with my best friends.”

Marissa Stone: “Hello, I’m Marissa Stone and I am a fifth year senior here at UC. I am from Pasco, Washington studying Health Education with a focus in Public and Community Health. I am going into my fourth year on the UC Dance Team and I am very excited about cheering at our first home game at Paul Brown! Football season is one of my favorite things about being on the UC Dance Team. Having the opportunity to cheer in Nippert for all of our students and fans is very fulfilling. I cannot believe this will be my last season! I can’t wait to see where this season takes us and I am cheering for many more Bearcat wins!”

Jaime Kruzel: “I’m excited for fall sports because it’s the beginning of a new year and everyone is excited for what’s going to come out of the year. I also love football games and seeing all the fans come out and filling up the stadium. I’m looking forward to being in the new arena!”

Taylor D’Ambrosia: “I’m a senior on the University of Cincinnati dance team, majoring in Communications with a certificate in journalism and sport media. I am very excited for fall sports because it is my last year of college and I can’t wait to be a part of the atmosphere and represent the C-paw on the Nippert turf. Being with my friends and family on game days makes it even more worthwhile. With the new basketball arena being built and ready to go in a few months I am ready to get the chance to dance in Fifth Third for my last season. Our team is one of the tightest and supportive group of girls I know. We always have each other’s backs inside an outside of practice. We have a huge amount of talent this year which makes me super pumped for nationals. We already started off this year on the right foot so there is only moving up from here. My heart and soul is embedded into this program and will stay with me forever.”

By Taylor D’Ambrosia