Warhawk dance team steps it up


Parker Olsen, Sports Editor

The UW-Whitewater dance team is a staple of the Warhawk gameday experience and is commonly thought of one of the top atmospheres in Division III. They perform at halftime of football games and of basketball games as well as at other events on campus and the community.

The dance team is part of the UW-Whitewater Spirit Program, the cheerleaders, Willie Warhawk, and the new Warlettes team make up the rest of the program. The program’s goal is to contribute to the gameday experience that thousands of fans are a part of every year. The dance team is a part of more than just sports though, it is also a connection to the community.

“I love performing at the football and basketball games,” said freshman dancer Alix McCorkle. “We did the talent show here… for the parade we did a walkthrough, and then we do a few fundraising activities and we have a kids clinic where a bunch of kids came in and we taught them a real simple dance and then they got to perform at the football game.”

The team does not do any performing in the spring. September through March the squad is in action, but once basketball season is over the dance squad gets to take a breather from performing. 

“It’s kind of nice because you get a break, kind of like sports get an offseason. We’ll have our spring tryouts coming up, so we’ll have that. But it is kind of nice to have a break because you are going full throttle and every day is dancing, especially with football season, and then when basketball season and football season intermix it’s very busy,” co-coach Kayla Ferguson said. “It’s fun, the craziness, but it is nice to have a break.”

The Warhawk dancers are so involved in performing at games and supporting other Warhawk athletics teams that they are not able to compete in any dance competitions.

“Since we are a part of the Spirit Program it is our number one responsibility to be at the games. Since I was a freshman the reason why we haven’t been able to compete is because competitions are usually days we have playoff games and our number one priority is to be at those games and support our teams,” Ferguson said. 

Despite the conflict with playoff games, co-coaches Kayla Furguson and Tessa Smith have recently begun a search for competitions that the dance team could compete at in the future. The dance team has not gone to a competition for a number of years.

“I came from a studio background, so I grew up doing competitions, so if we do competitions in the future I would be really excited for it but I respect their decision and I’m okay with anything, I’m just grateful I can be on the team and continue to do what I love to do,” McCorkle said.

Whether the dance team gets to compete in the future or not, they will remain as one of the most recognizable parts of the Warhawk game experience.