By Megan Toninato
On Sept. 30, the SJU football team hosted their annual Tackle Cancer game against Bethel University. Once again, the Johnnies teamed up with the CSB dance team in an attempt to raise as much money as they could for cancer.
Not only did football spectators see the dancers walking around with buckets to collect money, but there was also an opportunity to donate on their webpage. These donations went to the Randy Shaver Cancer Research and Community Fund. This is an organization that directly uses its funds for research, prevention, and treatment of the cancer community specifically in Minnesota. “In total, $12,389 was raised at the Johnnie Tackle Cancer Game. The dance team raised $3,356 of that total,” Anne Sumangil said, the head coach of the dance team.
The total amount of money raised was a significant increase from last year’s Tackle Cancer game.
This tradition is not only one that belongs to CSB/SJU. In fact, all teams across Minnesota are encouraged by the Randy Shaver Fund to dedicate at least one game of their season to Tackle Cancer. In 2016, there was over $281,000 raised to the Randy Shaver Cancer Research and Community Fund because of all the money raised by the statewide event.
“We’re always proud to be a part of the Tackle Cancer game and fundraising efforts. The team really divides and conquers,” Afton Windsperger, assistant coach of the dance team said.
The Tackle Cancer game is just one of the many highlights for the CSB dance team. At every home football game, you can find the CSB dance team ready to perform their latest routine during halftime.
What most people don’t know is how those dancers got there.
In the spring, the dance team holds their rigorous tryout process.
“Because we are a club sport, we cannot cut anyone who tries out for the fall team,” Sumangil said. “We can, however, limit the number of dancers on the field.”
The team brings in judges who are not affiliated with the team directly to evaluate each member. After the evaluation, they decide placements for the fall and spring performance teams, the competition team, and the alternates.
For the fall, 64 dancers are chosen. Dancers not in the top 64 are not cut but labeled as alternates. These dancers still pay the fees and attend all of the practices, but will only perform with the fall group in the event that a member in the original 64 is sick or absent.
Senior Jordan Stavedahl is in her fourth year as a part of the CSB dance team and touched on the different routines that her squad puts together.
“We performed our ‘For the Girls’ routine last Saturday for the Tackle Cancer game and Family Weekend,” Stavedahl said.
The routine was choreographed by the CSB dance team captains. As the team has reached their halfway point in the fall, they are ready to change it up.
“Starting at the homecoming game, we will perform a throw-back dance in honor of our 20th year dancing on the football field,” Sumangil said. “This dance was choreographed by members of the team. Also at the homecoming game performance, we have invited our Dance Team alumnae to join us an 18 women will be returning to dance with the current team.”
The CSB dance team is back in action this Saturday, Oct. 7 at the homecoming football game.