Elizabeth Fitzgerald ’15, Staff Writer
From towns in the area, the captains of the Merrimack College Dance Team came to campus in hopes of furthering their career aspirations — and dancing on a stage again.
They have gone above and beyond their last year on campus to put together the most successful dance season yet.
Megan Folino (Saugus), Michaela McIver (Andover) and Christine Neel (Methuen) are seniors who have been able to balance academics with work and a demanding dance schedule.
These ladies are highly involved in extracurriculars, whether it be working behind the Info Desk in the Sak, working at the ticket office in Volpe, or teaching dance classes at a local dance studio … these women are literally everywhere.
Their claim to fame isn’t just being Merrimack employees or well-known faces on campus — they are the leaders of the college dance team. As Folino, McIver and Neel have all been dancing and even cheerleading since before we could imagine, it is safe to say that none of them are shy about performing … and it is no shock that they would be the captains of the dance team for the 2013-2014 season.
These three are known for being part of the dance team revolution, as the team has transformed tremendously over the past two seasons. Co-captain Folino explains that this is not your typical season, as with other sports, but in fact it began in September and ended with their final showcase on April 24, as the Beacon went to press.
“The dance team practices and performs from September until April. We practice three nights a week, two to three hours a practice,” Folino said. “During the spring semester, most of our practices are dedicated to getting ready for NDA Nationals in Daytona Beach, Florida. On top of those practices, we perform at football games, basketball games, homecoming, Mr. Merrimack, and other various campus events. “In addition, we also hold many fundraisers, our most popular being ‘Dancing with the Stars’ in the fall,” she said. “The dance team is a big commitment all year, but I think that everyone on the team would agree that it’s a rewarding one.”
After a long season, the hard work of the dance team paid off as they made it to finals, going into the last round of the competition in seventh place. Competing against Division II schools across the country this was an accomplishment in itself; additionally; they had set the highest score in Merrimack history.
“We had made it a team goal to make it straight to finals and it was something we really wanted to achieve,” Folino said. “The whole team works so hard all year and we really wanted it to show in the competition results. We received the highest score thus far in the schools history, which is really exciting and rewarding.”
Of making it to finals, Neel explained how much of an accomplishment it was to reach the goal they had set in the beginning of the year.
“When we made it to finals, I think the whole team was definitely shocked (because we all knew our prelims performance wasn’t our best), but we were also so relieved. We felt like we did it again, reached our goal again, which is just the most amazing feeling,” Neel said. “In dance, you work countless hours all year, and it all comes down to one two-minute performance at prelims … this decides if you make it straight through to finals or not. It is the most wonderful (and relieving) feeling to make it right through.”
You can see, these women are quite the interesting bunch, and though they each came from different places, they all come together on the stage. With graduation right around the corner it’s a wonder how they made it to this point with so much on their plates.
Merrimack’s Dance Team Advanced to National Dance Alliance National Compeition
Alexandria Kasper ’14, Staff Writer
For the second time in the history of the program, the Merrimack College Dance Team advanced to the finals of the National Dance Alliance national competition in Daytona, Florida. The twelve girls headed down to participate on April 9, 2014. With a score of over 9.0 they finished 7th out of 15 teams advancing to the national finals of the Open II Division.
“ Making it to finals for the second year in a row and getting the best score in the schools history was a rewarding experience. I am very proud of the team and all of our success this year,” said captain Michaela McIver who will be graduating in May along side teammates Christine Neel and Megan Folino
Their end of the year showcase will take place on April 24th at 8pm in the Roger’s Center.