When it comes to football games, the cheerleaders are just as important as the game itself, am I right? In some cases, they’re even more entertaining. We’ve decided to bring you a member of a cheerleading squad/dance team every week throughout the season because sometimes they’re under-appreciated. It’s not as easy as it looks, folks. Just take it from Dominique Mazzone, a member of Temple University’s dance team and a Miss COED 2016 contestant. The junior kinesiology major from Saddle Brook, New Jersey practices 3-4 times a week for 3-4 hours at a time, in addition to balancing schoolwork and other activities.
Get to know a bit more about Dominique and the team below:
What is it about dance that you like the most?
I have two things that I can’t chose from. Definitely the rush I get from performing in front of a big crowd, whether it be at a football or a basketball game. On September 5th, Temple played Penn State- and won. ;) The stadium holds 70,000 people, and it was sold out. I have never performed for an audience that big; it was incredible! The other aspect of dance team that I like the most is my team. Every year, I’ve been blessed with an amazing group of talented, hard-working, and beautiful teammates. I couldn’t be happier to spend my seasons with them.
What was your favorite memory dancing at school?
My favorite memory dancing as a Temple University Diamond Gem is definitely when we placed 8th at Nationals in Disney World this past January. Our division is filled with amazingly talented dancers and to have placed 8th was indescribable. My team and I worked so hard to create and clean our routine; we were just so thrilled that the hard work paid off.
Which game are you most excited for this year?
Well, the Penn State game was just this weekend, and I couldn’t stop thinking about it for weeks! It was so awesome and fun to dance at because of the sold-out crowd, the cameras, and our big victory. We have another huge game coming up on Halloween against Notre Dame. That game will probably be sold out as well, and I have a lot of family and friends coming to support me and the Owls.
How does dancing keep you busy?
Well depending on the game schedule that week, we have practice either 3-4 times a week. These practices are normally 3-4 hours long depending on what we have to accomplish in that time frame. We also have two mandatory gym sessions a week, on top of gym sessions you do on your own time in between classes and school work. If there isn’t a game, nationals practice, or another Temple-related event, our weekends are free, so I try to go home as much as possible! Some people think that my schedule is crazy, but I’ve been dancing 30 hours a week since 9th grade, so this is easy for me. I don’t know a better way to spend my time (unless I’m with friends or family).
What’s your favorite restaurant to eat at or best late night food spot?
Philadelphia is a great place to get great food! I have to say my favorite place to eat is a restaurant called Little Nonna’s in Center City. My roommates and I went for a birthday celebration, and they had some of the best Italian food ever (aside for my grandma’s food, of course). On campus, they have a lot of late night spots for us to eat at like Insomnia Cookies or U Got Munchies, but my roommates and I LOVE Philly Style. It’s a pizza and sub place on our campus that we end up at way more than we should!