Dance Your Way Through College

2 rows of girls in their dance uniform. 7 In the top row and 3 on the bottom row.

William Peace University’s dance team, also known as the Prancing Pacers, brings the energy, school spirit, and diversity to campus whenever they perform.
So far this year, the team has performed 19 times. This group of girls can be seen performing at Men’s and Women’s basketball games, the annual WPU Dance Showcase, and other various on-campus events as well as dance showcases around North Carolina.
The Prancing Pacers were formed six years ago in 2013. As part of WPU’s mission statement that emphasizes a belief in diversity and inclusion, dance coach Lorraine Wilson welcomes all of the dancers’ diverse backgrounds and varying skill levels. Along with being the dance coach, Wilson is also a nursing instructor for Duke University Health System and has been a nurse for 10 years now. She loves working in maternal and children’s health.
My favorite part about coaching the dance team is getting to know dancers at various levels in dance and watching the students become powerful performers,” says Wilson.
Compared to other universities’ dance teams, the dancers at Peace do not necessarily have to have years of dance experience. All of the different strengths that each dancer brings when they perform is what makes them unique.The team choreographs hip-hop, jazz, and lyrical/contemporary routines for their performances.
Peace sophomore and communications major Savonna Hill has been on the dance team since her freshman year. She began dancing when she was three years old, then started participating in competitive dance as well as her high school dance team. Along with showing her dance talent at Peace, Hill is also very involved in pageants and performs a jazz or tap routine for the talent portion.  
“Dancing is a way for me to escape from stress, and also a way to express myself through movement and music,” Hill said.
Freshman and biology major Brae Williams says that being a part of the dance team makes her feel like she’s a part of a sisterhood.
Williams says that even though the team has long and tiring practices, the end result of performing for the audience gives all the dancers a rush of adrenaline and pride after they’re finished. Williams also aspires to be a professional cheerleader one day. She uses this goal as her motivation to keep working hard to strengthen her dancing talent.
“My favorite memory I’ve had on the dance team so far is when we had our team bonding experience at the State Fair,” Williams said. “It was the first time as a team we began to really connect and get to know each other.”
Along with the dance team being a way to be involved on campus, freshman and double major in criminal justice and psychology Christina Valentic enjoys dancing because it’s a good way to exercise and stay active while also enjoying what she’s doing.
The dance team meets two times a week and practices for four hours. Through all their hard work and dedication to create an eye-catching performance, the girls display their love and appreciation for Peace and what being a part of a family really means.

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