New dance team to help with game day and team spirit

The Roar takes a group photo after auditions April 19. After auditions, it was announced 21 people made the team. The dance team is a new addition to UNA athletics to help change the atmosphere of game day.

by Sports Editor Dustin Pollard

Lion fans: It is time to prepare to shake what your mother gave you.

For the first time there will be a dance team affiliated with UNA athletics and have the members on scholarship. The dance team is officially called “The Roar” and will perform at several events on campus as well as the community.

The team will also be on the sideline for all home football games and have a halftime show for basketball home games this fall.

Auditions for the team were held April 18-19 and 21 people made the cut.

Each member will receive a $1,000 scholarship per year.

“Auditions went really well because we had such a large group of good dancers try out,” said dance team coach Hannah Smith. “These girls are really excited to get started.”

Smith, a UNA alumna, comes back to her alma mater with experience, as she was an NFL cheerleader for the Tennessee Titans for two years.

“I got a lot from UNA when I was here and I just want to give back,” she said. “I’m coming home.”

Smith said the team is anything but short on talent.

“We have such a huge talent pool in this area, so I’m excited for us to show it off,” Smith said. “We have too many talented dancers to just hide them away.”

Smith said the dance team is dedicated to enhancing the whole game day experience for UNA athletics.

“We want to change the game day atmosphere and bring more entertainment,” she said. “I have a huge passion for sports — anyway I can help with game day I’ll do it. We want to pump the crowd up as much as we can and start a tradition.”

The Roar dancing style will be of some hip-hop, pom and jazz routines, Smith said.

“We have a lot of goal-oriented young women on this team,” Smith said. “I’ve never thought about qualifying for nationals in the first year but with this team I think we definitely can. This is the start of something special.”

Smith said the team has the opportunity to compete for nationals in its inaugural season.

“I’ve never thought a team could be this good heading into its first year, but these girls have the ability to do something great,” she said.