Sophomore, Kirsten Folger, is entering her second season on the Furman Dance Team and could not be more excited. Since Folger was 14 years old, she has been passionate about dance. She was both a member of a dance studio in her hometown and a member of her high school's dance team. When she came to Furman, she knew she wanted to continue her love for dance and decided that the best way to do so would be to audition for the Furman Dance Team.
"I wanted to be involved in school spirit just like I was in high school," Folger reflected when asked why she tried out for the Furman Dance Team. The Furman Dance Team plays a pivotal role in keeping the crowd engaged at Furman sports games. The team is present at both home football and basketball games, cheering and dancing for the athletes on the sidelines. The team additionally performs during halftime with the Paladin Regiment, Furman's marching band, for football and performs other choreographed routines during basketball season. Folger's favorite event to cheer on Furman athletes is basketball games because of the exhilarating energy in the arena.
Folger also loves performing, which is something the Furman Dance Team does a lot. One of the team's biggest performances during the year is their "Dance Spectacular," which is when the team gets to put on a more traditional dance recital and do styles of dance they don't normally get to do during sports seasons, such as the style of contemporary. During sports seasons, the dance team sticks to dance styles like pom, hip-hop, and jazz. "I like that we get to show more of our (dance) technique, but the best part is enjoying that last performance of the year after working so hard," Folger stated. The Dance Spectacular serves as the end of the dance team's season and rightfully commemorates the dancers' hard work. The Dance Spectacular normally occurs in May and counts as a CLP credit for students.
Since the Furman Dance Team participates in several different events throughout the entire school year, the members are bound to have some favorite memories. Folger stated that one of her favorite memories was dancing at the Clemson vs. Furman game earlier this football season. The dance team hadn't traveled to an away football game since before the COVID-19 pandemic; therefore, this was such an exciting opportunity for the team. Folger regarded the football game at Clemson as having such a "big enthusiastic crowd." Another favorite memory of Folger's is performing at marching band exhibitions. Every marching band season, the Paladin Regiment is invited to perform at high school marching band competitions. The Paladin Regiment has traveled to locations such as Easley to perform at band exhibitions. Folger views these trips to band exhibitions as a "great team bonding experience with the bus rides." Additionally, with the crowd at band exhibitions being big fans of marching bands, Folger said, "it just makes you happy to be there and be a part of something bigger like the Furman band."
With such a busy dance schedule, Folger emphasized, "time management and an organized planner is my best skill for handling all of my schoolwork." The Furman Dance Team practices twice every week in the PAC dance studio and has outdoor practice with the marching band also twice a week. Since all these practices are in the evening or night, Folger said she mostly completes her schoolwork between classes. As a neuroscience and philosophy double-major, Folger has quite the week between her schoolwork and almost daily dance practices.
Folger's life as a Furman Dance Team member is undoubtedly praiseworthy. Her busy schedule and ability to perform at so many events throughout the year is no easy task. Make sure to come out to Paladin Stadium and Timmons Arena this coming year, not only to cheer on our Furman athletes but Kirsten and the Furman Dance Team as well!