June 5, 2023

California Baptist University’s dance team heads into its 2020 season with new dancers and even more ambition after finishing second in pom and fifth in jazz routines last season.

The dance program is still a fairly new program at CBU, as the 2020 season will be only its second season in existence. The team, lead by head coach Kristy Mapes, added additional women to the roster in hopes of further establishing the program. The roster now has 31 athletes. However, the team is still figuring out its dynamic with the additional members.

“The team dynamic is slightly different than last season because we are larger and have 10 more women on the team,” said junior liberal studies major Kayla Taylor. “Since it is only our second season, we are still figuring a lot of things out. We are so close though and consider each other family.”

Although it is still a new program, Mapes said she hopes to be top five in the nation in upcoming competitions. In order to achieve this goal, the Lancer Dancers need to utilize CBU events to its advantage.

“Performing at games is beneficial because we get to practice dancing in front of a big crowd,” said sophomore medical science major, Alexus Ramos. “This is nice because it prepares us for how competition will be and allows us to perfect our routines before we have to perform in front of judges.”

Ramos also emphasized the importance of dancing in front of crowds to prepare for competition.

“Dancing in the dance room is completely different than dancing in front of people. When we are in front of big crowds and have a lot of adrenaline, this can cause us to accidentally do something we’ve never done in practice before. This is why it is important for us to perform our dances at games before competing so that we are able to fix any mishaps that may have happened during our performance.”

Though the dance team aspires to do well in competition, Mapes said she hopes to help the team develop into well-rounded individuals who contribute to a fun environment at CBU events to fuel school spirit.

“I am hoping to continue to bring entertaining dance routines to our basket- ball games and to promote school spirit. I am also trying to improve the team as a whole in technique, sharpness, and unity,” Mapes said. “Through our daily journaling, I hope to achieve mentally and spiritually confident athletes.”

The Lancer Dancers will compete next at the USA Collegiate Nationals Feb. 15-16 in Anaheim and the National Dance Alliance Collegiate Cheer and Dance Championship in Daytona, Florida, April 7-11, with hopes of obtaining a top-five ranking in both upcoming events and establishing CBU’s dance team nationally.

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