Senior Shelby Hogue is finishing up her fourth year on the UCA dance team.
Hogue has spent 20 years of her life dancing and started dancing because her mom wanted her to try it.
“I actually hated it my first year. I cried every time we did something,” Hogue said.
After her first recital, she decided to try dance again the following year, and she’s been dancing ever since.
Dancing doesn’t come without its drawbacks. The dance team requires a huge time commitment. Hogue considers the dance team a part-time job. She practices three hours a day while attending class, doing homework and staying involved in her sorority.
Being a member of the dance team has caused her to miss out on some social events in college such as sorority formals and member dates.
“It’s okay. It didn’t kill me,” Hogue said.
Even though Hogue is busy, she said dance team practices help her manage stress.
“When I have a stressful week at school, it would help me destress,” Hogue said.
Being on the dance team has also made Hogue miss class. While most sports compete frequently, the dance team only competes once each year.
“With nationals, we have to miss up to a week of school,” Hogue said.
Her team competes in the National Dance Alliance, or NDA, competition in Daytona, Florida, each January.
The dance team starts prepping for its competition in May. The team rarely makes it to the finals, but they reached that goal her freshman year.
One of her teammates got injured and wasn’t able to compete in nationals, so the team worked hard to make that teammate proud. Hogue said her favorite part about being on the dance team is the friendships she’s formed.
“All the girls on my team are my best friends. They will be there for the rest of my life,” Hogue said.
Additionally, being on the dance team has helped Hogue learn how to work with different kinds of people. It has also helped her come to appreciate constructive criticism.
“Getting constructive criticism really does help you as a person,” Hogue said. “When I graduate, I’m going to get constructive criticism all the time.”
Hogue is majoring in journalism and minoring in public relations. When Hogue isn’t dancing or in class, she spends her time walking her dog and running.
She graduates in December. Next semester she will take classes and work, so she will be less busy. Hogue serves as the reporter for UCA’s baseball team, and this summer she has an internship with the Arkansas Travelers baseball team.
After graduation, Hogue wants to do sideline reporting for sporting events.