Megan Benoit, Campus Carrier Features Editor
Leo Narrison, Campus Carrier Asst. Features Editor
|Katie Sweeney | CAMPUS CARRIER|
|The Vikettes practice for their first performance of the year, which will take place during Mountain Day Olympics on Oct. 6.|
The Berry College Vikettes is a student led dance team who performs at events across campus and in the community.
The Vikettes have been a part of Berry culture for many years now. The organization was founded in 1974, a few years after Jane Doss introduced modern dance into the physical education curriculum at Berry.
“A girl at the student involvement fair came up to us and said ‘my mom was a Vikette when she went to Berry’ and that was in the 90s,” Vikettes Captain Cami Grace Glass said.
This year’s team consists of 12 members, all of whom are freshmen or sophomores. There are four returning sophomores, two new sophomores and six freshmen on the team.
Prospective members go through an audition process at the beginning of the year. Some dance background is preferred, but it is not necessary in order to be on the team.
“We have three days of dance camp where girls come and learn technique,” Glass said. “There are four different sections: turns, leaps, kicks and toe-touches. They also learn a one-minute segment of choreography for a dance that we will be using in the future.”
Auditions last for several days and end with a one-minute performance in front of a panel of judges that critique dancers on technique, style, expressions and emotions and the overall performance.
The Vikettes traditionally perform at all men’s and women’s home basketball games and the Mountain Day Olympics, but a recent goal for the team is to become more involved in the community. The team has performed at Make a Difference Day and at an event supporting DIGS, an organization for adults with special needs. They are also plan to participate in the Rome Christmas Parade.
Being a student led organization, the Vikettes receives some funds from the Student Government Association, but also must coordinate fundraisers to support themselves.
“This semester, because we don’t have as many performances, we are going to try to fundraise,” Glass said. “So, we will do some things for the people on campus, such as go to a restaurant and have a Vikettes night so a couple dollars of your meal might go toward helping our organization.”
Another goal for the team this year is to create an inviting team environment, ensuring all members enjoy what they are doing and build strong friendships.
“It was super nice as a freshman to come in and, by the third or fourth week of school, we had auditions, and we had to make friends with all these strangers and do it all together,” co-captain Diamond Newsome said. “That made the transition from high school to college much easier because we came in, and we had a group within the first month of school.”
The student leaders of the Vikettes run all practices, organize fundraisers and events and choreograph all the dances.
“Each of us have choreography that we are going to teach the team which is really cool because everybody has a different way to express themselves,” Glass said. “My style is more cheerleadery with poms, while Diamond’s might be a bit sassier, and Haley’s probably has more technique just because that is our dance experience.”
With their first performance on Mountain Day and only two other performances this semester, it is not too late to join the team.
“This semester we will focus on technique, building our strengths as a team and learning choreography,” Vikettes Treasurer Haley Edmondson said. “So, if someone is interested in joining, they won’t be behind necessarily.”