Dance teams, Drumline thrill at football halftime show

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Author: Clif Cody

At halftime of Saturday’s football game against Chapman, members of the Occidental football team returned to their locker room, leaving the field empty for the performances. The Occidental Dance Team, Cheer Team, Hyper Xpressions and Drumline provided the halftime entertainment, keeping up the homecoming excitement.

The Occidental Dance Team jogged onto the field first, kicking off the halftime show with a choreographed dance to “Verge” by Owl City. The members spun, kicked and rolled in sync with each other, jumping and cheering with the audience as the chorus started to play.

“We put a lot of work into cleaning and running the routine and were very happy with how it turned out,” Dance Team Co-Captain Sarah Dalessi (sophomore) said. “We really have a great team this year with members from a lot of different dance backgrounds and they all bring individual strengths.”

Next up was the Occidental Cheer Team, who danced to “Goodies” by Sierra and “Lose Control” by Missy Elliot.

Members were thrown in the air and hoisted onto shoulders, working through a mix of carefully rehearsed stunts. The Cheer Team has five new members this year, some with extensive cheer background, Grace Hancock (senior) said. They meet four days a week, which includes one regular morning practice.

“It’s been really positive this year,” Hancock said. “We’re working really hard and everyone has shown a lot of dedication, which makes me really happy. But we’re also having fun and trying to focus on that.”

Hyper Xpressions followed, storming the field with their high-energy dance to “Live For The Night” by Krewella.

“We’ve been working on this dance for a month now, since we’ve started,” Jenna Brown (senior) said. “It’s many styles of dance in one long dance. It has different sections; one’s jazz funk, one is just hip-hop and just jazz and lyrical.”

This semester, Brown said that 45 students came out to audition, a larger number than previous semesters.

“We have six new freshman, and they’re all so talented,” Brown said. “It’s a whole entirely new team.”

Finally, the drumline closed the halftime show with three different cadences. Team Captain Marina Bellizzi (senior) said they played “Rock.com,” “Snoop” and “Clave.”

“It went well, it was nerve wracking but still so fun,” Bellizzi said.

Occidental students, parents and alumni cheered throughout the half-time show, sporting a mix of black and orange shirts, Tiger paws and pom-poms.

“Everyone was into it,” Matt Munet (sophomore) said. “It was cool to see kids with their parents come to support.”

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