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Baseball and dance teams collaborate with guy-girl dance 

Dibble+and+Claman+Pre-Dance+Photo+
Viterbo Dance
Dibble and Claman Pre-Dance Photo

The baseball and dance teams have done a collaborative dance together over the past several years, and on Jan. 26 and 27, they performed a country themed dance at the men’s basketball games. The teams had four practices together and filled the R.W. Beggs, Sr. Gymnasium for both performances. Athletes credit the experience as a good break from competition and a boost to Viterbo’s athletic culture. 

 

The dance has become an annual tradition between the teams, and it has been greatly beneficial for school spirit, sports team relationships, and the overall health of Viterbo’s community culture. In 2024, the event occurred before both baseball and dance began their spring seasons. The dance team began their competitive season close to home, competing at the first Collegiate State competition in Wisconsin at the La Crosse Center on Feb. 3. 

 

The baseball team did not start nearly as close to home, traveling to Tennessee to compete in a four-game series versus #25 ranked Freed-Hardeman. Their closest game was 8-7, but unfortunately, the V-Hawks lost all four games on their opening trip. Ranked seventh in the conference preseason poll, conference play begins on March 15 and the baseball season will conclude on April 27.  

 

Several dancers and a baseball player shared their thoughts on the event. Senior Elizabeth Peterson said, “It’s a really great opportunity to get the Viterbo campus and [community] involved – the gym has never been more packed.” Senior Madelyn Dibble chimed in, “It’s also a really good way for freshmen or transfers on the baseball team to get involved because, how the pairing works, they’re all required to do it… It gets them out of their comfort zone.”  

 

Dibble elaborated, “It’s funny to see the vibe difference; the first two or three practices, the boys do not want to be there at all.” Senior Madelyn Fitzgibbons continued, “But then it comes by like the fourth practice. The energy’s up and everybody’s just having a blast.”  

 

Senior Kirsten Southworth credits the event with broadening players’ horizons, saying, “It gives them an appreciation for dance because sometimes I don’t think they know the work that goes into it either.” One of those baseball players is senior Taylor Claman. He has been described as one of the best and most energetic dancers the baseball team has to offer. 

 

Claman found his love for dance relatively late, 18 or 19 years old as he describes it. “It was partner swing dancing. And I just love how you can move with the music and almost be poetic with it.” He continued, “Then when I got here and they’re like, ‘sophomores and freshmen get to dance,’” he was excited about the opportunity. 

 

The dancers credited multiple other dancers with their skills: “Yomar, he’s amazing… so good… he could have been on the team,” they said collectively. Claman supported his fellow baseball athlete, “Johnny [McMurry] moves his body better… but nobody gets into it more than me.” 

 

The groups bonded in other ways, specifically on the karaoke stage. “Some of these guys in class, they’re quiet, but they were singing,” Southworth said. They specifically mentioned Nolan Hines, who was reluctant to sing. But after some convincing, he went up and sang “Party in the USA.” “He absolutely tore it up,” Dibble said. 

 

The value of connecting athletic departments cannot be understated on a university level. The key to the event, Claman said, is, “…school spirit, and understanding what we’re doing here as a unified athletic department.”  

 

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About the Contributor
Noah Nelson
Noah Nelson, Editor
I’m the Editor for the Lumen. My major is Sports Management and Leadership with an English Writing minor, and I also compete for the Men’s Golf team.
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