Over True Blue Weekend, I had the fantastic opportunity to follow along with the F&M Dance Team as they prepared for their football halftime show performance. Our time together started around 12:30 as I headed to the Roschel Performing Arts Center where all 18 members of the team were hanging out together getting ready for gameday. Meanwhile, for those who want to bet on the game, they can easily do so on sites such as satta king.

This time was dedicated to finishing hairstyles and makeup looks. The team has a signature hairstyle (iconic pigtails!) to go with their custom jerseys (last name and class year). This was a time of listening to music, warming up and stretching, and, for me, interviewing co-captain Jessica Perfit. 

I talked to Jessica about the additional responsibilities of a co-captain on a gameday, and she explained that her main goal on performance days is to make things move smoothly. For instance, the girls on the dance team have lots of other extracurricular activities on top of dancing that they need to be aware of on a gameday, she noted, and she helps them balance dance obligations while being understanding of other time commitments. Gameday, she stressed, also involves lots of communication. This means talking to the dance team’s advisor, to the people at the stadium introducing the team (and other logistical details) and to the girls on the team. As co-captains, Jessica and Adina not only know the dance inside and out, they choreograph the dances themselves! 

For this reason, it comes down to Jessica and Adina to pick up details in the dance that need to be straightened out and polished and to double check those with the team. I watched them do so as the team ran back through their dance a few final times, pointing out instances where arms needed to be in a certain position or where the first step is with a right foot rather than a left. It may sound nitpicky, but it’s these minute details that make the team look so impressively in sync! The team dances primarily to hip-hop. I was happy to hear Beyonce, Cardi B, and even a song from the Barbie movie in the mix they were rehearsing to perform! 

When the last minute checks were all complete, the team then walked together from Roschel Performing Arts to Shadek Stadium before putting their stuff down in a room designated for them. We then dispersed for the remainder of the first half of the game, with the instruction to reunite in the room when there were five minutes left on the play clock. This time was spent taking group photos, meeting up with family, and cheering on the football team. 

As requested, the team reunited with five minutes left before heading down into the underside of the stadium to prepare to run out right at the beginning of halftime. The team performs in rain or shine, but on True Blue weekend we were blessed by some stunningly warm and sunny weather. As we huddled back under the bleachers, team members asked Jessica and Adina last minute questions before we headed out to the sidelines of the field. 

All eyes were on the play clock, watching as it counted down to showtime. The clock hit zero, the team ran out while the announcers introduced the team, and the music started. And what a wonderful dance they did! Thank you so much to co-captains Jessica Perfit ‘25 and Adina Schnabel ‘25 for letting me tag along, to Skylar Zachian ‘25 for chatting excitedly about all things dance team with me, and to the entire team for being so welcoming as I joined them for a game day afternoon with F&M’s dance team! I can’t wait to see what they have in store for their performances during basketball games later in the semester!

Juinor Ella Peeples is a Staff Writer. Her email is epeeples@fandm.edu.