By Kevin Burrows

Starting new clubs on campus may be challenging, but after jumping through a few hoops, four girls successfully created a competitive dance team for Michigan State University.

MSU Elite Competitive Dance is a student-run organization, established in June 2011, which provides students with the opportunity to dance competitively at the college level.

MSU Elite focuses on jazz, lyrical, hip-hop and some pom. Group members and guest choreographers choreograph pieces. They will have a spring showcase toward the end of the spring semester.

MSU Elite Dance Team

“We wanted to start our own dance team because we still wanted to be at a competitive level, but not too intense. We wanted to have time to enjoy college life and not be overwhelmed,” said Rachel Bonello, communications student and vice president of MSU Elite.

MSU Elite host events including competitions, conventions, philanthropies, fundraisers, performances and other on-campus events such as Sparticipation and the Homecoming parade, Bonello said.

“Team building, community service and excelling in dance are three important things MSU Elite supports,” said Heather Popoff, MSU nursing student and president of MSU Elite.

The team is eager and excited to start their first year as they have just completed their first dance competition that took place at Cobo Hall in Detroit on November 12.

The competition was hosted by JAMfest, which is international event productions company that hosts about 70 cheer and dance competitions across the United States, Europe and Canada.

After their first and successful competition at the Cobo Center in Detroit, MSU Elite placed first in both the hip-hop and jazz categories. MSU Elite was also awarded best chorography for their hip-hop dance.

“The team worked really hard these past few weeks to make sure we were ready for our first competition,” Bonello said. “It was a great competition to get our foot in the door.”

Bonello added that it was a great feeling to compete with fellow Spartans for the first time.

The team said they are very happy with their accomplishments and excited for future events and are very happy with the support they’ve been getting and hope it continues.

“We all had a lot of fun at our competition and are proud to place first for only practicing for a month, and I am looking forward to growing with the team” Popoff said.

Being a student-run organization offers members the opportunity to choreograph, teach and learn a wide variety of styles.

“Winning isn’t everything. To get awards, work together and represent MSU as a talented university is what we’re looking to do,” Popoff said.

One of the biggest obstacles MSU Elite faced was stabilizing their financial status.

“Finances have been our biggest obstacle, trying to find practice space and costumes that are affordable to us students paying tuition can be a challenge,” Popoff said.

The team is involved in fundraisers such as selling fan shirts and hosting events at local restaurants. They recently held a fundraiser at Dublin Irish Pub on November 9.

MSU Elite would appreciate all and any support from other Spartans, especially for their first event of this new dance team.

If you’re interested in supporting MSU Elite in any way and want more information on all their upcoming events you can visit their Facebook page.

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