Students Dance Their Way Through Semester

By Jaclyn Maczkiewicz

Not many people know it, but  Khaddijah Samad, a dancer and captain of the Suffolk Dance Team wishes they did; The Michael J. Grant campus in Brentwood has a dance team.

Samad offered valuable information about the team that doesn’t get enough recognition or student attention on campus. Tryouts for both men and women were held at the beginning of the semester. Each person received a number to wear, and was required to do a 20 minute stretch together before being  taught two routines; one a jazz routine, the other hip hop, as these two are the types that are mostly used in routines. The dancer hopefuls wereasked to have prepared a 30-second solo that they have made up themselves.

“We really only get asked about our background of dance, where we danced, how long we have been dancing, and then to just demonstrate the extra stuff we’re able to do,” Samad said. Of course, it’s important to know just what the “extra” stuff was.

“We get to ask them to do any leaps or pirouettes we know how to do and we will then get judged from there,” Samad said.

Following tryouts, students were notified of their acceptance to the team. Six females were selected for the season, which runs from now until the middle of May. They practice on Tuesdays from 6-8:30 in the Sagtikos building, and Fridays from 4-6:30 in the dance room of the HESC building on the Michael J. Grant Campus.

It seems as though a lot of hard work goes into being on the Suffolk Dance Team.

“We do a lot of fundraisers so we can get different costumes and we try to do the summer camps that are always held for colleges. We always want people that are dedicated. It’s hard to find people who have the discipline to stick with the practice schedule, especially within a community college. People always have class and work and don’t really have all that much time as they are going back and forth a lot of the time,” she said.

You can find the dance team performing at basketball games during time outs and at halftime. “We try to encourage the team to win….WE DONT CHEER, WE DANCE,” she explained with persistency. They will also be competing in at least one competition in the winter, held at Nassau Community College, will join other local teams such as Hofstra University, Nassau CC, and St. Josephs College to compete.

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