First game of the season, on a professional football field, in the pouring rain…this year’s UC/Miami dance performance is one I won’t soon forget.
September 8th, 2018, I took my first-last steps onto the field of my final season on the University of Cincinnati Dance Team. So many memories of my first game as a freshman in 2015 flooded back to me. It’s crazy to think about how fast these last four years have flown by. Reflecting back, I am proud of the dancer and teammate I have become, and I am grateful for the journey I have taken with my second family.
Not many people can say they were given the chance to dance on the field at Paul Brown Stadium. I was very appreciative for the opportunity to perform, once more, in the Bengals’ very-open-air-stadium, rain or shine.
For the game against Miami, the rain seemed like it was coming from all directions. My shoes were squeaky-soaked, puddles formed inside the sleeves of my warm-up jacket, and my hair looked like I just emerged from the shower. Despite reaching my pruny-fingers saturation point, cheering on the Bearcats with 26 girls by my side almost made me forget about the rain. Almost.
The third quarter finally arrived and it was time for our performance. This routine was by far my favorite and I was excited to show our fans what we’ve spent countless hours perfecting. Waiting for our opportunity, huddled and shivering, one student from the student section yelled down to us “Come on girls, you’re better than that!” which provided some much-needed motivation and comic relief during the rain showers.
Once the routine began, it was time to execute. The crowd cheered wildly the entire time, maybe because all of us bonded in the downpour together! When the routine ended, I heard the students scream — in fact, I don’t think I have ever heard our students scream and cheer for us as loud as they did that night. I actually had tears form in my eyes as I held my final pose because I was so excited and grateful for the moment. Tears mixed with raindrops.
As you know, the Bearcats won and reclaimed the Victory Bell for the thirteenth year in a row, which made dancing in a monsoon totally worth it. My mom, dad, brother, and sister all sat in the front row, supporting me, as well. I couldn’t have been happier.
Looking ahead, I am incredibly hopeful and optimistic about our team’s success this year, my final year on the UC Dance Team. I cannot wait to see what lies ahead for me, the six other seniors, and the rest of this incredible team. Go Bearcats!
By Taylor D’Ambrosia