The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Mustangs go dancin’

Mustang Mavericks was founded last year and continues to grow in participation and recognition.
MICHAEL DANSER/The Daily Campus
Mustang Mavericks was founded last year and continues to grow in participation and recognition.

Mustang Mavericks was founded last year and continues to grow in participation and recognition. (MICHAEL DANSER/The Daily Campus)

It is Tuesday evening and Will Buck is strolling down the boulevard in cowboy boots, a black T-shirt and Wrangler jeans with a silver Texas belt buckle.

Cowboy hat in hand, it would appear as if he is making his way to a Texas rodeo. Instead, Buck is going dancing—not traditional square dancing, but a form of country western dancing characterized by lifts, flips and twirls.

Since the spring semester of 2009, Southern Methodist University has been home to its very own country western dance team: Mustang Mavericks. Determined to make their mark at SMU, the Mustang Mavericks are devoted to boosting school spirit through their distinctive performances. 

“We all dance as a team. Everyone has to be there, everyone has to be dedicated or else things falls apart,” Captain Philip Hughes said.

The dance team is comprised of 20 students from diverse backgrounds and represents many organizations on campus from Greek life to Resident Life and Student Housing.
Hughes, a sophomore, is the primary founder of Mustang Mavericks. Hughes, who was involved with a country western dance team at Pearce High School, began recruiting members for the current team in his freshman year at SMU.

Each member has been paired with one dance partner. In order to maintain the team’s cohesiveness, partner assignments remain constant to ensure the trust and knowledge of one another’s strengths and weaknesses when performing. Since Mustang Mavericks showcases potentially dangerous stunts in its performances, it is important that each member is dedicated to both the team and their individual partner. If one partner fails to attend practice, it will assuredly affect the other.

“It’s really important that everyone trusts each other and knows what their partner’s limits are,” Captain Haley Gatewood said.

This semester, Mustang Mavericks will partner with SMU’s Ballroom Dancing Club for the annual “Spring Dance.” In addition to the Spring Dance, the team hopes to perform at SMU basketball games and one-day host a country western dance competition featuring competitors such as Texas A&M University’s Aggie Wranglers.

“Our team has only been together for a semester, and we started the process a year ago,” Gatewood said. “Although we really want to perform a lot, we really have a realistic mindset toward it.”

With SMU football’s victory at the Hawaii Bowl in December, Mustang Mavericks hopes to soon garner more attention and eventually perform on the Boulevard.

“When the football team wins, the whole school wins,” Hughes said. “The Boulevard is going to be a bigger event next year.”

Hughes acknowledges that the football team’s success will result in increased publicity for the school and therefore an increase in school spirit.

For Ali Gatewood increasing school spirit, especially after SMU football was issued the “death penalty” in 1986, was a factor in joining Mustang Mavericks. The continued support from the SMU faculty and student body has been a motivating factor for the team in boosting school spirit.

Although Mustang Mavericks has performed on the SMU campus during the homecoming celebration known as “Rock the Vote” and during the traditional Family Weekend talent show, it is not yet considered a chartered team. As a relatively new organization, the team must endure a one-year probationary period prior to obtaining their charter next semester.

Upon obtaining a charter, Mustang Mavericks will be able to apply for school funding and add “SMU” to their title. While SMU has already granted the team a sound system, they eagerly await the fall semester in the hopes that they can apply for funding to cover the cost of uniforms. Uniforms, they said, can be rather expensive when paid for on an individual basis.

Mustang Mavericks meets in Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday evening for rehearsal. Information sessions will be held in March for those interested in joining Mustang Mavericks and tryouts will be held in April.

For more information, contact Philip Hughes at [email protected] or Ali Gatewood  at [email protected].

 

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