In 2007, a group of former dancers in search of a home came together with a vision of bringing a new dance team to campus. Through their determination and love for jazz, Penn State Dance Alliance (PSDA) was formed. Since the team’s debut in 2007, PSDA has grown in both numbers and popularity on campus.
VALLEY sat down with PSDA President and Choreographer Emma Noe, a junior majoring in biological engineering, to learn more about the team.
VALLEY: As the president of PSDA, what is one word that you would use to describe the team?
Emma Noe: If I had to choose one word, it would be “passionate.” We are a group of girls who are so passionate about dancing and our love to perform as a team.
V: You mention performances — what are some performances that the team does, and how do you guys prepare for them?
EN: During the year we do performances all over campus at different events. Some of the most exciting things we get to perform at are Homecoming events, our annual showcase and THON! To prepare for these, we spend a lot of time perfecting the choreography and focusing on synchronization. As a team of 22 girls, it is so important that we stay together during our performances.
V: So, you’re the president and choreographer for the team! What is it like for you being a full-time student and running a dance team?
EN: Being the president of PSDA is so amazing and has been a great experience so far. I have a love for dance and choreographing, so getting to do both of these things while in college with amazing people is more than I could ask for. It is definitely stressful at times, but I am always up for the challenge and I have the most amazing executive board to help me.
V: Let’s talk THON … all Penn Staters love it, and some even dream of getting to be up on that stage. What is it like performing for a cause that means so much in front of thousands of people?
EN: Our team has been performing at THON for quite a few years now. It is definitely one of the most exciting performances of the year that everyone on the team looks forward to. Getting to dance in front of that many people for such an amazing cause is a performer’s dream. We always work so hard during the year to perfect our dance and fundraise as much as possible, so it is definitely a rewarding feeling to experience the weekend as a whole.
V: Lastly, what is your favorite part about being a member of PSDA?
EN: My favorite part of being involved with this team is the amazing bonds that I get to share with the best group of girls. Even during my most stressful weeks, getting to go to practice is always something that I look forward to.
You can catch the team at some of their upcoming performances this year, namely, the Homecoming FTG Talent Show on October 9, the Homecoming Parade on October 12, the Penn State Women’s Basketball half-time on January 17, THON weekend on February 15 and the PSDA Showcase in April.