Go. Fight. Win.

Who cheers on the cheerleaders? The Santa Clara University Dance Team plays a vital role in the game day experience.

Go. Fight. Win.

With all the renewed buzz around the Santa Clara men’s basketball team following the NBA Draft, it can be easy to forget all the other Broncos who amplify the SCU game-day experience. Yes, we’re talking about dancers.

After two years of Zoom practices and rescheduled games, the Santa Clara Dance Team is finally back in person with new halftime routines—the Bronco spirit high as ever. “The Santa Clara Dance Team is an essential asset to the athletic department by promoting school spirit and entertaining the crowd with choreographed dance routines,” says Athletics Deputy Director Staci Gustafson. “The dance team members are dedicated to their craft by working and training hard throughout the year to deliver a first-class entertainment experience.”

The dance team was established at SCU in 1996 by Adrianne Pelt ’96 to liven up basketball halftime shows with dance routines along with the usual cheering. Known then as the Divine Divas, the dancers were such a hit that when the cheer team disbanded in 2011, they took up cheering along with dancing to become an all-encompassing entertainment crew.

Now members perform both high-intensity dance routines and sideline cheers at all men’s and women’s basketball games, select soccer and volleyball games, as well as other SCU athletic occasions like Golden Circle and open house events.

Dance Coach Jenn DaRosa is so proud of how far the team has come and says that “the girls deserve every ounce of recognition they receive for their tireless devotion to their routines and intensive training on top of balancing their other academic commitments.” The dancers learn 10 different halftime routines a quarter and practice around 10 hours a week. On top of practices and game-day shows, the dancers simultaneously run their own events to boost dance team funds, such as the Kendra Scott jewelry fundraiser.

Some dancers say it can be frustrating to not receive recognition for their diligence and dedication to SCU Athletics. After all, they’re athletes, too. But they refuse to let that hinder their work ethic. “There are some weeks where we have to perform two dance routines at a game but then have two completely different dances ready for practice later that week so it is definitely a lot of time management,” says Anya Patel ’24, a junior on the dance team. “Our training can be pretty intensive but it is very worth it. Being able to use my passion for dance to energize and bring Bronco spirit to the game day crowds alongside my best friends is the most rewarding feeling. I am excited to see where this year takes our team.”

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