Q: Is the Miami Dance Team considered a sport?

A: Not officially; dance is not considered an NCAA sport. However, we are considered a Club Sports team at Miami, and practice, train, and compete in a similar manner to the NCAA sports.  We also compete against some of the largest Division I schools in the nation at nationals, falling into the Divison IA category and competing against teams like Louisville, Penn State, Iowa State, and North and South Carolina.

Q: I’ve heard of different dance groups at Miami. What is the difference between these groups?

A: Miami Dance Team (our team) – The Official Dance Team of Miami University. We are a nationally competitive collegiate dance team that performs at varsity Football and Basketball games, around campus, the community, and attends intercollegiate competition against other Division 1A dance programs.

Dance Theatre – Dance Theatre is an eclectic dance company at Miami that showcases work in a dance concert each semester at Miami. This group specializes in lyrical and modern.

Shakerettes – The Shakerettes are a pom and kickline team that has been part of the Miami tradition for over 30 years.  They are part of the Miami Marching Band and perform at home football games and several basketball games.

Visions Dance Company – Visions is a dance student organization on Miami’s campus that performs a broad variety of dance styles in a spring concert each year.

Q: What skills are included in tryouts for the Miami University Dance Team?

A: Dancers auditioning for our team perform a set of technical skills as part of the tryout.  The skill list includes: double, triple, and quad pirouettes, leaps on the right and left (split leaps, leaps in second, switch leaps, & switch opens); fouette turns a la seconde, calypsos, tilt jumps & switch tilts, leg holds (both right & left sides), turning disks, turning c-jumps, toe-touches, and hip hop tricks (i.e. kip-ups, stalls, etc).  The ability to execute aerials and tumbling passes will also be valued.  Other skills may be changed or added.  We will break down, teach, and review skills at the tryout clinic and during the prospective collegiate camp every March.

Q: Can I audition more than once?

A: Yes – there is no limit on the number of times you can audition for our team unless authorized by the captains.

Q: What should I wear to tryouts?

A: In tryouts, dancers should wear dance attire in which they feel comfortable (no loose clothing such as large sweatshirts or baggy pants).  Veteran dancers typically wear sports bras, tank tops, and spandex shorts or leggings.  Visit the “tryouts” section here to receive more information about our tryout process.

Q: How many spots are there on the Miami Dance Team?

A: It depends – we do not have a set number that we take.  We set our team based on audition score breaks.  The number of new members each year tends to depend on graduating seniors and overall talent level of the audition pool.  Our team usually ranges between 30 and 35 dancers, but could be larger or smaller. We have a separate tryout every January where the top 16-20 dancers are selected to perform the Nationals routine.

Q: What is the practice schedule like?

A: During the academic year, we will typically practice 3-4 days per week for 3-4 hours each practice.  Practices begin at least a week before classes and end with Nationals in April.  Practices are held more frequently in the time before nationals, working with our choreographer, former coaches, etc.  The team may also participate in a conditioning program at the brand new Club Sport workout facility one or two days per week depending on the dance team schedule.

Q: Is it possible to stay on top of my schoolwork and still be the student athlete I was in high school?

A: Yes, this is definitely possible and schoolwork should be your first priority. In college, there is more time and opportunities throughout the day to study and complete homework assignments long before practice begins. Like any other athlete in college, there are time commitments required for a team (2-4 practices a week, in addition to 1-2 games). However, athletes quickly learn to adjust and develop vital time management skills, and luckily, the Miami Dance Team has upperclassman with this kind of experience, willing to help each new member!

Q: What does MUDT do during the summer?

A: Every summer we have two different summer camps: National Dance Alliance (NDA) Camp: The camp is held in Louisville, Kentucky during the end of July. The top 16 spring tryout scores are asked to attend NDA camp to represent Miami. If participants submit a video or private tryout they will not qualify to attend NDA summer camp. Oxford Summer Camp: The dance team typically arrives to campus one week prior to classes starting to learn choreography, review game-day material and bond with their new teammates!

Q: Where/when do you compete?

A: Our main competition each year is the NDA Collegiate National Championship held in April in Daytona Beach, Florida.  This is an amazing opportunity for our team and allows us to compete with some of the best dance teams in the country. It is important to note that due to national’s preparation the team is required to stay in Oxford for practice over Spring Break.

Q: What other performances do you do? 

A: In order to gain important performance experience and exposure as a team, we perform at functions on and off campus.  Past performances have included: Greek Events (Bandstand and Puttin’ on the Hits), exhibitions at local & regional dance competitions (i.e. local invitationals, Jamfest Nationals, UDA, etc).

Q: What does being on the Miami Dance Team require financially?

A: The Miami Dance Team is funded by Club Sports for the majority of dance team completion-related expenses.  However, we need to raise money as a team to cover the total cost of national competition (flights/hotel, choreographer, costumes, and entry fees.)  We fundraise throughout the year to cover these expenses as much as possible.  Important team fundraisers include our corporate sponsorship program, clinics, and poster sales. The out-of-pocket cost for each member is $750 dollars.  These three payments are due on July 1st, September 1st and December 1st every season in order to cover the fees associated with being a member of the dance team.

Q: Can I study abroad if I am on the dance team?

A: Yes, we encourage study-abroad during the summer semester.  Most dance team members that study abroad choose to do so in the summer in programs that end in time for NDA camp in August. If a member has an interest in studying abroad for a semester, she must decide prior to re-auditioning and notify the coach and captains.

Q: Does the dance team hold clinics and give technique classes?

A: Yes. In the past, we have held youth clinics for local elementary, middle, and high school students.  In March each year, the dance team hosts a collegiate dance workshop for high school juniors & seniors interested in trying out for the Miami Dance Team. To find out more information on this year’s youth camp, visit the “events” page.