For seven seniors on the Michigan Dance Team, Saturday's (Nov. 30) football game against Ohio State will be their last opportunity to perform on the sidelines and with the Michigan Marching Band at Michigan Stadium. In November's edition of Beyond the Sidelines, the Michigan Dance Team blog, the group looks back on their favorite moments performing in front of 109,901 people.
Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
Obviously running out of the tunnel is the most thrilling feeling in the world, but I have to say that my favorite memory about dancing in the Big House is seeing my parents sitting in the stands. It's the best feeling looking up at my dad, who has the biggest grin on his face, and then seeing my mom pop up behind him and waving so excitedly. It means the world to me to have my two biggest role models watching me do something I love so much.
It's easy to think of the big moments I've experienced in the Big House -- like the win against Notre Dame under the lights or beating Michigan State at home for our school's 900th win. But, when I think about dancing in Michigan Stadium, nothing will ever compare to the first game I ever danced in it. It was the first home game my freshman year and we played UConn. All I can think about was experiencing the traditions, the band and spirit teams have in the tunnel for the first time and running out to see an overwhelming crowd of diehard Michigan fans. The crowd's enthusiasm was contagious that day. While every single opportunity to be on that field is precious, the feeling of performing in my first game was unlike any other and I will never forget it.
Yorba Linda, Calif.
I get chills just thinking about it. As I reminisce about the many times I have danced in the Big House, most of my happiest moments were when we performed with the Michigan Marching Band. Halftime shows are so special to me because we get to be a part of an entertaining production. As a dancer, performing on stage is something I love most, and the Big House is a pretty amazing stage. My favorite memory was the "Beyonce" halftime show. I'll never forget the adrenaline rush when the lights went out and the stadium went wild. I was filled with so much happiness doing what I love for a school I have so much pride in; it doesn't get better than that. The show was truly spectacular and I'll never forget it.
Sterling Heights, Mich.
When I think back to dancing in the Big House, one thing I've always cherished is the time inside the tunnel before the game begins. All of our pregame rituals like singing "Eye of the Tiger" and "Yellow and Blue," and staring down the opposing team before cheering for ours as they enter the locker rooms, will always be some of my favorite memories. I remember studying and practicing the songs before my first football game (Sep. 10, 2010 vs. UMass) and making sure I had them down perfectly for the big day. As I ran out of the tunnel that day, tears streaming down my face (and my dad's as well), I knew I was in for the best four years of my life at the best university in the world. Since that day I have not taken a single second for granted on game day, and thinking about this upcoming Saturday is almost too much to handle. It will be a very bittersweet day, but I'll always remember that wherever you go, Go Blue.
White Lake, Mich.
One of my most prominent memories in the Big House was my first time dancing on the sidelines as a freshman at the Illinois game. It was the first home game in November, and it was a beautiful fall day for Michigan football. Apart from my excitement to have earned my spot to dance on the sidelines, we ended up winning the game in the third overtime.
Walled Lake, Mich.
I will never forget the halftime performance during Under the Lights II against Notre Dame this season. In the last few seconds of the performance I remember just looking into the stands and taking it all in. The lasers, the sound of the Michigan Marching Band, the cheering fans, darkness in the Big House like Michigan fans have never seen before, and the sight of my teammates in my peripherals -- it was one of those moments you just never want to end. A true reminder that being on this team means being part of something so much bigger than myself. Also, how cool is it that Beyonce said, "Go Blue?" I'm just thinking, this school is awesome.
Pleasant Ridge, Mich.
One of my favorite memories would have to be dancing in my very first football game of course! It was the Michigan State game last year. It was such a nailbiter, but being able to celebrate dancing in my first game and a win against MSU on the field with my teammates was one of the coolest feelings and one I'll never forget. I will also always remember being able to see my parents, in their same seats that they have had as long as I can remember -- rain or shine -- waving and cheering as we danced. I will miss being able to share Michigan football Saturdays with my team and my parents who have supported me through this whole rollercoaster of a journey.