Illinois State’s competitive dance team joined the Greek community in Chi Omega’s March Madness dance competition and fundraiser.
As a part of an effort to raise money for the Make A Wish Foundation, Chi Omega hosts a dance competition each year during which sororities and fraternities choreograph routines to perform and tickets are sold.
“This is the largest amount of people we get to perform in front of all year and everyone is screaming and chanting, it’s really a cool experience,” Kristen Groset, president of the dance team, said.
Groset is also a member of the host sorority, Chi Omega. When she joined her sorority as a freshman, she began organizing for the dance team to perform at the event, a tradition that is in its third year.
“We perform our Nationals routine, which we have been learning since around Thanksgiving time, so it’s a good time for the girls to get out their nerves and see how the dance is going to look at Nationals,” Groset said.
Groset is not the only member of the dance team that also participated in March Madness as a part of a sorority. Groset said there are two members of Alpha Gamma Delta, and one member of Delta Zeta.
“A lot of the girls come from competitive dance team backgrounds so they are used to remembering more than one dance,” Groset said. “It’s a good experience for them because they get to use their skills in multiple ways.”
Some members of the team even used their dance experience to help choreograph dances for their sororities.
The winners of this competition, Zeta Tau Alpha and Sigma Chi, raked in a yet-undetermined amount of money for the Make A Wish Foundation, however last year, the event raised $30,000.
“We loved watching everyone up there on stage participating,” Groset said. “It’s always interesting to see how everyone reacts to some of the really great or really funny dances.”
Not only is March Madness a way for the members of the competitive dance team to perform for their friends, help raise money for a worthy cause and have fun as a team, but it is also good exposure for the relatively small team.
“Since we don’t perform at games and our main goal is Nationals, it is great to perform in front of so many people and get our name out there,” Groset said. “There are tons of girls and guys up there dancing and if they maybe danced in high school and realize they miss it, they can hear about us through this event and come try out.”
The competitive dance team will travel to Nationals in two weeks where they will compete in their final event of the year. However, they plan on continuing the tradition of performing with the Greek community as a part of March Madness.
“It’s something the girls really look forward to,” Groset said.