One student’s desire to keep on dancing has led Patrick Henry Community College’s athletic department to add competitive collegiate dance squad.
The Patrick Henry Community College Gold and Blue Dance Team will compete against college dance teams in lyrical, jazz and open-style dance.
The team would provide an opportunity for students who have graduated from precollege dance academies to continue dancing and give dancers an opportunity to stay competitive during their time at PHCC – and perhaps even earn an opportunity to further their education.
“At PHCC, the ideas that really get us moving come from our students,” said Amanda Broome, public relations specialist/social media manager at PHCC. “This fall, thanks to a great idea from one of our students, PHCC will be expanding its athletic department once again.”
That student is Amber Treadway, a lifelong dancer who didn’t want the music to stop and came up with the concept as part of a leadership program conducted by PHCC President Angeline Godwin.
“I have been dancing all my life, and after I graduated from the dance studio where I took lessons, I wanted to keep dancing,” said Treadway, who graduated from Melanie Paschal’s Dance Creations in Eden, N.C. “I started dancing when I was 4, and I have loved it ever since.”
Treadway completed her first year at PHCC this past spring and is working on her associate’s degree with a focus in science. In fall 2020, she said, she hopes to transfer to Liberty University to major in biomedical science (premed).
“This past spring semester I was a part of Dr. Godwin’s Leadership Cabinet,” she said. “During this class, she asked us, ‘What is something we would change in the community?’.
“When President Godwin asked me what initiative I would start, I Immediately thought, ‘I’d make a dance team at PHCC.’
“Once I pitched my idea to Dr. Godwin, she was instantly supportive. I spent a lot of time gathering information and talking to different people who work in the dance industry. After a couple of weeks of Dr. Godwin doing her own research, we began meeting to work out the details. This is when it starting to feel real.”
Said Godwin: “I know this will be a great opportunity for students. By having a dance team, PHCC not only offers an outlet for our students that is fun, community building and great exercise, but a team that could also help students be competitive for dance-related scholarships at four-year universities.”
Starting today, the team will recruit up to 20 dancers for a performance team. In the spring, up to nine dancers will be selected from that group to become the competition squad. The competition squad will travel to travel to at least two regional competitions every year; one in fall and one in spring.
Auditions will be conducted at 4-8 p.m. today in the gymnasium at PHCC’s Stone Hall. Dancers should be prepared to perform a 1-to-3-minute dance in jazz, lyrical or contemporary style. Music should be requested in advance or brought on a CD or flash drive.
A dancer must be a high school graduate and a current PHCC student with at least a 2.5 grade-point average. Previous dance experience is preferred but not required.
PHCC is also seeking a techniques coach and a choreographer/dance production coach. Contact PHCC’s athletic director, Brian Henderson, at email@example.com to learn more about coaching positions.
Treadway said she is excited for the future. “We have big plans for this dance team,” she said, “and I can’t wait to watch it all play out.”