Let’s dance! : Getting to know Shockwave

Courtesy of Parker Waters

It doesn’t matter if there is pouring rain, stifling heat or even an impending hurricane — Shockwave, Tulane University’s premier dance team, keeps performing and cheering until the football game is over.

The team’s enduring athleticism, spirit and enthusiasm are the hallmarks of every performance, speaking to the core values of these dancers, as expressed by captain Katie Reynolds.

“I think we have a great group of girls that builds each other up and really just wants to be there to have fun with each other and help each other improve,” Reynolds said.

At every football game, in addition to brief dances on the sidelines, Shockwave choreographs a routine with the Tulane University marching band (TUMB) for the halftime show and even performs its own spotlight number during a timeout in the third or fourth  quarter of the game.

The team also travels to one away football game each year and hopes to end its fall season by performing at a bowl game, if Tulane’s football fortunes continue to rise.

During the spring semester, Shockwave performs at every home men’s and women’s basketball game. At these events, the team cheers in the stands, dances on the sidelines and performs more elaborate routines on the court during two timeouts.

When it is not cheering on the Green Wave, Shockwave likes to get involved in the community. Every year, for the “Band Day” football game, Shockwave works with aspiring dancers from local teams, culminating in its “Junior Shockwave” halftime performance.

Likewise, the team produces a Spring Showcase, where it performs its routines from the past year and works with nearby dance studios, and in the spring Shockwave is able to participate in a longstanding New Orleans tradition.

“We also march in the Mardi Gras parades along with marching band,” Reynolds said. “[It is] a really good way for us to get connected with the community. I know that is probably one of the highlights of our season.”

Shockwave just began a WaveStarter campaign to pay for a dance workshop, new uniforms, poms and warmups. The team is also accepting video auditions for the spring semester through Saturday, Oct. 27.

Shockwave will perform next in Yulman Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 20, as Tulane football takes on Southern Methodist University.

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