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Frequently Asked Questions
How many spots are available on the UW Dance Team?
Each year, the Dance Team holds audition for all of its members, both rookie and veteran members. The number of members on the Wisconsin Dance Team varies year to year (20 members in 2005, 15 members in 2006, and 18 members in 2007) depending on the talent that is seen at each year's tryout. We will take no more than 20 and no less than 12 members.
However, there are number limits in terms of policies within the athletic dept and national competition companies. The Universal Dance Association, which hosts the annual National College Dance Team Competition each year, states that a maximum of 14 dancers is allowed to compete. Likewise, in terms of Bowl Games and other Special events through Wisconsin Athletics that may have budget constraints, there may also be a limited number for those that are allowed to travel. Otherwise, Athletic Dept events are settled on a case-to-case basis, where seniority usually sets the precedent.
What GPA is required to audition for the team?
All members of the team must be above a cumulative 2.0 GPA and should be of good academic standing. Academics play a key role in the foundation of the Wisconsin Dance Team. Despite the heavy, virtually year-round time commitment made to the team, all academic finals and exams are considered excused from all mandatory practices and some games. Other academic conflicts are subject to approval by the coaching staff.
In addition to program support, the Athletic Department also offers the use of the Fetzer Student Athlete Academic Center, the academic student-athlete tutoring center on an individual basis. Dancers are encouraged to use their facilities as needed. As college students, academics are a priority to all of the Wisconsin dancers.
Are all of the dancers Performing Art or Dance majors?
Currently, none of the majors of the team are in these areas. The team reflects several business, journalism, pre-medicine, education and social work interests. Composed of undergraduate students, the team has developed excellent time management skills when balancing a 13 to 18-credit course-load and a 12-20 hour per week Dance Team commitment.
Is there a height or weight limit?
The Wisconsin Dance Team does not adhere to typecasting (i.e., similar heights, body types or skin tones), as each dancer is unique in their height or weight. While there is no weight requirement or weigh-in included in the training program, the Wisconsin dancers are encouraged to maintain a healthy lifestyle and muscular build. The fight songs and dance style of the team requires a great deal of endurance, agility and physical strength. The Dance Team maintains this training level by participating in weightlifting and aerobic conditioning twice a week and is encouraged to weight train and condition outside of practice time. In terms of personal nutrition, the Athletic Department also offers the opportunity to meet with a team nutritionist on an individual basis.
What common character traits are found within the Wisconsin dancers?
Dedication is a common thread between the team members. Each dancer displays a great understanding in the tradition of UW-Madison and in the pride that their roles carry in representing this tradition at numerous athletic and public relations events. To dance for Wisconsin requires a fair deal of sacrifice. If the UW Football team qualifies for a Bowl game, the team gives up a majority of their Winter Break to travel to a Bowl game and UDA Nationals in Orlando, FL. At times, holidays such as Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, New Year's Eve are days set aside for support of Wisconsin Athletics than for family. However, in spite of this sacrifice, the Wisconsin Dancers believe the benefits far outweigh these costs.
How many hours a week does the Dance Team practice?
Depending on the season, the time commitment varies. In August, when the team first starts practice for the upcoming season, practices average 4 to 6 hours a day for the first few weeks as the team prepares for their first round of competition and the upcoming football season. During the school year, the team practices on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday evenings for 3 hours and on Fridays for 2 hours with the UW Marching Band before each home game. The team also lifts weights twice a week for an hour. Football Saturdays carry a time commitment of approximately 6 hours. The season begins to overlap with basketball in late fall/early winter and the schedule varies week by week. Also during the fall, Nationals practices are included in addition to shorter football season practices in order for a qualification video to be prepared. Practicing slows down before the end of first semester to allow ample time to prepare for fall semester exams. Upon return from Winter Break, a time that varies from several days to a couple of weeks (pending bowl games and nationals competition), practice resumes on a similar basketball practice schedule. In addition to these practices, various public relations events are interspersed throughout the year. Overall, most practices are in the evenings, with the exception of Friday afternoon band practices in fall and is manageable with a 12-15 credit course load for a first-year member. Please refrain from taking night classes on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and classes after 3pm on Fridays during the fall semester.
I'm a high school senior who may be attending Wisconsin next year; can I try out? If I make the team, is there a great deal of adjustment to get used to?
Since auditions are in the spring prior to the following season, only registered, full-time students are eligible to audition due to liability reasons. All high school seniors should refer to the audition link to learn more about the requirements for a video audition on this web page. In terms of the freshman/first year experience, typically the majority of the members of the Wisconsin dance team have become members of the team through video audition. While your first year of college includes several lessons of independence, time-management and decision-making, the Dance Team does aid in this process. By bringing you to the Madison a month before the semester begins for training purposes, you can learn a great deal about the University. At such a large university such as Wisconsin, the Dance Team serves as a great niche to help you find your way. As a member of the team, you are surrounded by several close-knit upperclassmen that are more than willing to tell you about their previous experiences or offer advice in terms of classes, professors, food and all of those other agonizing first-year issues. If anything, being a part of the Wisconsin Dance Team brings you closer to your University and can actually enhance your college experience.