Behind the scenes: TCU Showgirls
By Tori Cummings
Posted September 17, 2013
Posted September 17, 2013
Wearing purple and white John Justin boots with TCU branded on them and a wide range of purple outfits, the TCU Showgirls make their presence known at home athletic events.
But being on the team takes dedication and, of course, good dance skills.
To make the team, dancers need to have good technique, be able to learn dances quickly and have a “personality,” senior co-captain Brittany Barbeau said.
"When you’re watching girls dance, you want to get that feel that they’re having a good time,” Barbeau said.
The dancers practice three days a week and work out twice a week. This means the Showgirls are together a lot preparing for appearances.
“My best friends are on this team,” senior co-captain Caroline Cauley said. “So I love always being around them. I get to see them literally six out of the seven days a week. So that is just so fun to always have girls to go to.”
Being a Showgirl is very demanding, but having the other friends on the team makes it worth it, Cauley said.
The Showgirls' job is to pump up the crowd at athletic events, Barbeau said. However, that is sometimes a tough task. When the Frogs struggle, the Showgirls cannot show negative emotions while dancing.
“It’s pretty hard to not show your face and to keep positive and to keep smiling and to not let the fans see that so we can encourage the football players a little bit more,” Barbeau said.
In addition to dancing at TCU football, basketball and baseball games, each dancer has to do five appearances in the Fort Worth area. This includes local charities and companies.
Even after all the hard work the dancers put in to improve as a team, no one is guaranteed a spot for the next season.
Each dancer attends tryouts every spring where they learn a dance and a cheer, Barbeau said. They are also asked about TCU and the spirit program.
For dancers like Barbeau and Cauley, the tryout process is “nerve-racking” since they have been on the team every year.
“You’re never safe,” Cauley said. “And I think that’s tricky once you’ve been on the team for so many years.”
The program becomes a part of the dancers over time, so not to be certain if you will make the team spot is difficult, she said.
“Each year you do it, you fall in love with the program more and more and to be cut would be really harsh,” Cauley said. “But new girls, new talent comes in so you always have to step up your game and be willing to put in the effort.
Still, Barbeau said, the experiences as a Showgirl make all the reoccurring pressure of tryouts worth the experience.
“We all come from different places, but we all have one common thing and that’s the love of dance and the love of TCU,” she said. “To be able to be out on the field and representing TCU as an ambassador for the school, it’s really awesome and to just do something that we love.”
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