Oct 17, 2019

Moving to a new groove

I have to admit, at Fresno State basketball games, I may or may not reenact some moves made popular by the former dance team. I can’t help it. When you got it, you got it.

Actually, I do it mostly for the entertainment of my friends (and myself), but in part to remember the hard-working, lightly-clothed talent that once graced the sidelines and moved to the beat of the Bulldog Beat.

As of January 23, 2009, order has been restored. That was the day a press release announcing the return of the once-defunct dance team surfaced, and, boy, did I spread the word. Reaction ranged from exuberant to ecstatic. That’s because they shouldn’t have been gone in the first place.

Can anyone even remember a reason why the team was disbanded? Word on the streets is that a bunch of the older to quite older (female) fans complained, and in less time than it takes to pick up your jaw from watching the dance team’s halftime performance, they were gone.

Let me ask you to put your thinking caps on for a minute. Think back to a college sporting event—namely football or basketball—that you saw on TV. There is a cheer team and a dance team to root them on. I don’t know of a major college in the United States that doesn’t have a dance team. A dance team is as standard as a library nowadays, which is a pretty good analogy if you ask me, because you visit both of them to check things out.

What about in a frozen state like Minnesota? Yep, they’ve got one. Any big name school does. But even random schools that would score big points in Scrabble like Lindenwood, St. Benedict and Wisconsin-Eau Claire (Who? Exactly my point) have a dance team, and they’re good on a national level.

So to does St. Cloud State (yes, it’s a real school, apparently) and a school out of Walla Walla, Wash., Whitman College. How can you take a school located in a town named after the witch doctor song (Ooo eee, ooo ah ah ting tang, walla walla bing bang) seriously?

(On a side note, Whitman winning the ACP Best in Show award for best Web site is beyond highway robbery, but that’s for another time. Seriously, check it out for compare and contrast purposes.)

Fresno State, at one time, was also among the nation’s elite. Top 10 and top five finishes were routine on a national level, and helped spread the word of our good name. They even have a national title for a performance not too long before they were dropped. Fact of the matter is, these girls deserve to have this team. I know for a fact they worked hard and took it seriously. Not to mention there is very little equipment to buy.

You think it’s a coincidence that attendance in the student section has taken a nosedive reminiscent of a ride on the Tower of Terror ride at Disneyland? Aside from entertaining basketball, tickets are free, they serve alcohol and they give away free things, yet red seats dominate the section. Bottom line, when the dance team was here, so to was the students. Coincidence? Probably, but it looks good for my argument.

The fact that the dance team is returning makes most of my ranting moot, but I think a refresher course on the absurdity of the absence of the dance team was absolutely necessary. So here is a note to precaution to the athletic department: just because a lady with a southern accent said, “is this a bawl game or a night club?” once upon a time in regards to dance team routine doesn’t mean break out the axe.

I’ll spare you any remaining thoughts I have on this whole debacle because, well, frankly, this blog is getting kind of long now. The bottom line is come March 8 (at 10 a.m. in the South Gym) the Fresno State dance team will start a new journey. They will perform as part of the marching band and miraculously increase male attendance at sporting events from anywhere between small amounts and leaps and bounds.

Sounds like I better brush up on my moves. I’ve got some competition on the way.

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