Dance Team celebrates second Dancing with the Stars


Photo by Melodie Truchi - Reporter

Student Gray Hatter and dance team member Katelyn Deaton perform their hiphop piece at Dancing with the Stars.

Melodie Truchi, Reporter

After getting their show taken away from them during the pandemic the California Lutheran University Dance Team hosted their Dancing with the Stars show Saturday April 2nd. 

Some members of the dance team were paired up with students and given a random style of dance to perform for the judges to compete for the first place award as well as other awards such as most entertaining, best costume, best teamwork, and best choreography.  With 12 duos and one trio, Dancing with the Stars featured performances ranging in genres from jazz-funk,  musical theater, bachata, afrobeats, ballroom, and more. 

The judges held up scores after each dance with the option to rate the dance on a scale of 1-10. 

Multimedia Professor and Cal Lutheran Dance Team Alumni Kayla Peralta was one of the judges who also has a background of dance experience. She had the privilege of being the only judge that held up a question mark, rather than a numbered score to keep the audience in suspense of who the winners would be. 

“I thought the show was wonderful. It brought people together to celebrate dance, camaraderie, and CLU. Being a judge was a surreal moment for me. I was on the dance team when I went to school here, and now that I teach, I get to see some of my students on stage as well as in the audience,” Peralta said. 

History Professor Michaela Reaves, who has a doctorate degree in history, as well as Karsten Lundring, also known as Candyman at the Cal Lutheran sporting events, were the other two judges. 

The show started off with a group performance from the dance team.

First up in the competition was dance team member Taryn Gaulke who was paired up with students Mikayla Galaviz and Daniel Tran to perform a jazz piece. In a short video that was played as a behind the scenes moment before their performance, they said being the only trio performing was working toward their advantage. 

Dance team member Mariah Zermeno was paired up with student MacKenzy Iwahashi who plays for the Cal Lutheran Women’s Basketball Team to perform a musical theater dance. 

“It was super great. I really tried to incorporate moves that she could do since she is a pro at basketball and I incorporated that into our dance since we were musical theater,” Zermeno said. 

Their dance incorporated baseball bats, basketballs, pom poms, outfit changes, and even the two of them running through a hand painted sports sign with the two of their names on it. 

Zermeno said the part that made her the most nervous was definitely the props they used and the costume changes. Some of the costume changes they did not even try on stage until the actual performance but it was a success for the both of them. 

Student Felipe Torres was paired with Jade Castro to perform bachata.

Torres said it was actually really fun to do but stressful because of Castro’s “high quality” dancing, he did not want to disappoint. Torres said he was most nervous for the performance because he needed to dance in front of a big crowd. 

“I would consider doing it again and would definitely do it again if Jade was my partner,” Torres said.

Dance team member Kelly Alexander was paired with student Rob Frye to perform a salsa dance. 

Alexander said they rehearsed their dance for a total of 3 hours.

“I enjoyed dancing in heels, picking out the costume, and editing the music,” Alexander said. 

Student Adam Souza was paired with dance team member Theresa Brown to perform a ballroom piece. 

“I wanted to do Dancing with the Stars because I have always loved dancing in different theater productions I’ve done, and my favorite has always been ballroom/partner dancing. This was the perfect show for me,” Souza said. 

 There was a tie for first place between dance team member Danika Larsen and her partner Sia Williams jazz-funk dance, and Brown and Souza’s ballroom dance. Dance team member Kaila Hunley and football player Stanley Asiegbu with their 80’s aerobic dance won second place.

Dance team member Allyssa Trompeter and her partner Cary Hale-Mounier won the award for most entertaining. Their vogue performance had the crowd cheering along when the two of them walked down the audience aisle to perform right in front of the judges which was different from every other performance at the show.

Castro and Torres won the award for best team work. Dance team member Gbemi Abon and her partner Maya Fleming won the award for best choreography. Dance team member Samantha Castillo and her partner Millennia Gamez won the people’s choice award where each member in the audience got a chance to vote for only one dance. 

“It was such a fun experience. All of the contestants were super supportive of each other and everyone just wanted to have the best time with one another,” Souza said.