Marquesas work on new character routine for new competition season

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Marquesas work on new character routine for new competition season

Ilena Peng

The Marquesas slowly trickle into the gym on Sunday, Sept. 11 at 9 a.m., slipping in through the only unlocked side gate of the student parking lot. The campus is almost entirely quiet except for the faint sound of music. The gym is filled with laughter as dancers attempt new jumps for their newest routine.

The Marquesas are knee-deep in preparing for their upcoming competition season, and on this particular Sunday, they are in the process of learning the choreography for their character routine, which portrays a character and has a plotline. For example, the Marquesas’ character dance last year was themed around a boxing match. And even though choreographer Cassandra Lund moved rapidly through the humorous routine, the Marquesas picked up the dance quickly. As with many other competitive dancers, they have chosen not to reveal any details about their character dance until they perform it in competition. Here are some glimpses of their rehearsal.

Sprawled out across the gym floor, dancers juniors Nicole Pound and Erin Lewis stretch as they chat with each other. Dancers waiting their turn frequently spent their time stretching to keep their muscles warm.

Sprawled out across the gym floor, dancers juniors Nicole Pound and Erin Lewis stretch as they chat with each other. Dancers waiting their turn frequently spent their time stretching to keep their muscles warm.

Junior Jessica Kimm and seniors Linnea Cheek and Riona Guha, who is a captain for the Marquesas, rehearse a section of the routine. The humorous choreography gave the Marquesas the chance to show a sense of camaraderie in their team throughout their dance.

Junior Jessica Kimm and seniors Linnea Cheek and Riona Guha, who is a captain for the Marquesas, rehearse a section of the routine. The humorous choreography gave the Marquesas the chance to show a sense of camaraderie in their team throughout their dance.

Junior and dance team officer Caitlin Malone weaves between the other girls as they rehearse a section. Their routines almost always has two layers of dancing — the main dance and then a small group or soloist as a focal point.

Junior and dance team officer Caitlin Malone weaves between the other girls as they rehearse a section. Their routines almost always has two layers of dancing — the main dance and then a small group or soloist as a focal point.

Junior Jessica Kimm laughs midway through the routine. Character routines allow for a fuller range of emotions than traditional dance routines and the bubbly nature of the Marquesas’ feels true to the team’s upbeat personality.

Junior Jessica Kimm laughs midway through the routine. Character routines allow for a fuller range of emotions than traditional dance routines and the bubbly nature of the Marquesas’ feels true to the team’s upbeat personality.

Senior and dance team captain Cherie Kim lies down on the ground and stretches out in between rehearsing. As Lund worked with different parts of the routine at a time, the Marquesas could take a break to snack, chat and watch the routine come together.

Senior and dance team captain Cherie Kim lies down on the ground and stretches out in between rehearsing. As Lund worked with different parts of the routine at a time, the Marquesas could take a break to snack, chat and watch the routine come together.

Lund dramatically demonstrates a step that the Marquesas intently look at. As she was teaching the dance, Lund didn’t spare any energy when it came to showing exactly how she wanted the steps to be executed.

Lund dramatically demonstrates a step that the Marquesas intently look at. As she was teaching the dance, Lund didn’t spare any energy when it came to showing exactly how she wanted the steps to be executed.

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Lund extends a hand and gestures to the Marquesas. The Marquesas learned quickly, even leaving rehearsal at noon, an hour earlier than originally anticipated. And despite the early Sunday morning and the complaints of unfinished homework that could be heard among the team, the team sped through learning the choreography while having fun gathering with their friends, full of laughs, stretches and shared food.