Very first gentleman on Iowa Dance Crew feels local community aid

Ora Sawyers

Nathan Polancyak performs Feb. 27 with the Iowa Dance Workforce during the Iowa vs. Michigan women’s basketball activity at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa Metropolis. (Amir Prellberg/Freelance)

Nathan Polancyak performs Feb. 27 with the Iowa Dance Crew throughout the Iowa vs. Michigan women’s basketball recreation at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City. (Amir Prellberg/Freelance)

IOWA City — Nathan Polancyak had seven yrs of faucet dance, hip-hop and other dance lessons and craved a location on his superior college dance workforce.

“I was heading to test out as a freshman, but I bought scared due to the fact of the stigma,” he explained.

The dance crew at Francis Howell Substantial College, in suburban St. Louis, was named the Golden Girls and had, at that place, only provided woman dancers.

“My mates at my dance studio confident me that it didn’t subject. I tried using out as a sophomore.”

Soon after he designed the group, the coaches altered the title to Golden Girls and Co.

”I guess I was the ‘and company’,“ mentioned Polancyak (pronounced Pol-AN-look at).

Now, as a College of Iowa freshman, Polancyak, 18, is the 1st male dancer on the Iowa Dance Group, a prestigious 21-member squad that performs at sporting functions and competes at the College Dance Group Countrywide Championship in Orlando.

Polancyak is not the initially male to try out out for the team, but he’s the to start with to make it, claimed Coach Jenny Eustice.

“He has jumped appropriate in and been versatile as we navigated possessing a male dancer on our workforce,” she reported. “He has a potent specialized base, and experienced not competed in the design of pom until finally this period, but jumped correct in with no hesitation.”

The 1st time Polancyak place on a pair of faucet footwear at age 8, he understood it was a excellent in good shape.

“I had experimented with a bunch of other athletics and things to do and none of them seriously trapped with me or created me experience everything,” he reported. “My very first class was a faucet class. I felt like ‘this is where by I’m supposed to be’.”

Tap developed to hip-hop, modern day, jazz and ballet. There were being other boys in his classes, but gender mattered a lot less than passion for the artwork form. As soon as Polancyak joined his significant college dance group, he had the additional joy of performing with a crew to hone a synchronized routine.

“If it is what you appreciate, it is what you are intended to be carrying out.”

Polancyak’s dad and mom pushed him to commence seeking at colleges early and described Iowa, just 4 hrs from home.

“I appeared up their dance staff and was like ‘Wow. Okay, that was amazing’,” he explained. “Once I arrived below and took a campus tour and actually fell in enjoy with the area, I realized Iowa was the only put for me.”

The Iowa Dance Crew takes advantage of a recruitment design rather than in-human being tryouts. Polancyak despatched in a video with an introduction and a compilation of him executing many competencies and methods. For the next round, he figured out an Iowa Struggle Track routine and sent that in on online video. The final spherical was a Zoom interview with Eustice.

“Nathan is a sort and caring teammate,” Eustice mentioned. “I glance ahead to him increasing as a member of this team!”

For sideline performances — specially soccer — the Iowa Dance Crew makes use of bigger, slower movements that can be much more-very easily found by the tens of hundreds of people in the stands.

But the dances the crew took to nationals Jan. 14-16 at Walt Disney Planet are each individual two-in addition minutes of superior-level dancing that includes tumbling, toe touches, kicks and switch sequences, usually accomplished in relocating formations. In the team’s jazz dance to the track “Cold” by Chris Stapleton, Polancyak is showcased many occasions, lifting companions and then undertaking a solo change sequence ahead of a front handspring.

“For nationals, we get the job done so challenging and observe so challenging every day,” he reported. “We have to constantly drill competencies and turns and hard moves and movements that most individuals who are not at this stage of dance wouldn’t be in a position to do.”

The group received 14th spot in jazz, eighth put in poms and third area with a video game working day regime.

Managing day by day tactics and performances with lessons for his background significant has been demanding, Polancyak said. The Dance Workforce rotates among observe areas at the Subject Household, Carver-Hawkeye Arena and Halsey Hall.

“Honestly, you just have to established out a plan for by yourself so you know accurately what you need to have to get completed,” he mentioned.

College students and fans have seen Polancyak’s existence on the workforce.

“Everyone has been really supportive,” he said. “Even when I’m not donning Iowa Dance Team equipment, people will say my identify or ‘Good work this weekend.’ It can make me experience so good.”

If he could go back and communicate with his 15-year-outdated self, afraid to test out for the higher college dance team, he would inform him not to get worried. “Don’t allow oneself imagine that since you’re a male it is unusual or improper that you are dancing. If it’s what you enjoy, it’s what you’re meant to be carrying out.”

Remarks: (319) 339-3157 [email protected]

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