Haag (back left) and teammates at Ohio Stadium
Oct. 31, 2013
The Michigan dance team has performed on the sidelines for Michigan Athletics for nearly 20 years. Now the team members are adding their voices to MGoBlue.com with periodic updates in the "Beyond the Sidelines" blog. Sophomore Jordan Haag provides the first entry.
Hey everyone! This marks the first-ever blog entry for the dance team here on MGoBlue.com, and I can't wait for you all to see a side of the dance team beyond the sidelines. Our season has gone really well so far, and it's hard to think that football season is halfway over.
It seems like just yesterday when we were all rushing the field after football's win against MSU last season. I'll admit that it was nice to have a little break with the bye week, but a Saturday without Michigan football is like going to Pizza House and not getting feta bread: it's just not right. I'm so excited to see the Wolverines take on the Spartans and even more excited that our team has the opportunity to travel to East Lansing and dance at the game.
Our team is lucky enough to travel with the Michigan Marching Band to one or two away games throughout football season. Traveling with the band means we dance during the halftime show with them, and it's so fun being able to dance somewhere new. Dancing in another stadium is intimidating, exciting and exhilarating all at once.
Traveling to Michigan State this upcoming weekend with my team will be a new adventure for me. I've danced under the watch of Touchdown Jesus in South Bend, I've danced in The Horseshoe in Columbus, but I've yet to dance in Spartan Stadium. I'm not really sure what to expect considering my experiences at Notre Dame and Ohio State were very different.
Last year at Notre Dame, we performed a "patriotic show" in cute, military-themed costumes. We tap danced on these big, white boxes during the show. And that meant we had to carry them to and from the buses -- not everything is glitz and glamour! A special shout-out to the trumpet section for helping us carry them. The crowd liked our show; after all, we may be rivals but we do have some things in common.
Ohio State fans, on the other hand, rushed the field and left us trapped in the stands following the game (while chanting some not-so-nice things about Michigan). It took an hour and a half after the game for police officers to finally escort us to our bus.
But there are so many positives from being able to dance for road games. Working closely with the marching band for halftime shows, it is important that we're all working in harmony. Our team bonded so much with the band on the OSU trip last season, especially with the Michigan drum line. We sat next to them on the bus ride there but forgot to tell them that we would be getting ready on the bus once we were near Columbus. (For those of you unfamiliar with what it takes for a dancer to "get ready," suffice it to say there's a lot of chaos and a lot of hairspray.) The poor drum line was literally choking on our hair spray. Sorry again, guys!
There's never a dull moment with MDT, especially on the road. Just as we were about to leave South Bend last year, one of our buses broke down. We had to shift around band members, instruments and our expectations of when we would get home. To pass time, the dance team and the piccolo section on our bus broke into a Disney sing-a-long of "Under The Sea," "A Whole New World," and other Disney classics. Singing and laughing with the band helped me to forget that it was 11:30 at night, we were still stuck in South Bend, and I wouldn't be getting home until 4 a.m. (or later).
Away games have shown me how much I value wearing the Block M. This upcoming weekend I'll find myself in a sea of green and white. You have to be so much more focused on keeping the Michigan spirit alive even if the crowd isn't so nice in return.
Our team's catch phrase is "Spirit Swag" and whenever someone drops that phrase you know you need to kick up the peppiness a few notches and be a positive figure no matter what's going on around you. I have a feeling Spirit Swag is going to be said a lot when we find ourselves in enemy territory!
I'm so excited to see the game play out, and even more excited to know that I'll be right there in Spartan Stadium with my team while wearing the Block M proudly on my uniform.
Jordan is a communications studies major and music minor. She will be one of our featured bloggers throughout the year. Check back with the Spirit Department page throughout the year for more behind-the-scenes info on the dance team!