Rock Chalk Dance - FAQs

These same few questions are often asked about the Rock Chalk Dancers. If your question isn’t answered here, email your question to rthomas@kudance.com.

What’s the time commitment of dancing at KU?
On average, we have three, 3-hour practices per week with one to three games per week depending on the athletics game schedules. If you’re on the Nationals (competition) squad, you’ll have an additional weekly practice in the fall, plus you’ll need to stay at KU in January (over break) for practices and the trip to Disneyworld for UDA nationals.

The RCD season begins mid-July each summer. Dancers will practice almost every day for 3 weeks during summer work weeks to train and condition for the season. Training will consist of technique, choreography, conditioning, communication, uniform fittings, calendar shoots, and team bonding. RCDs cheer and dance at all home football games, women’s and men’s basketball games, some volleyball games, and baseball games.

RCDs are expected to perform at games during holiday breaks.

What are the skill requirements to make the squad?
Technical/Skill Requirements: Be prepared to properly execute technical elements/skills including, but not limited to the following:

Flexibility: Battements, Leg holds

Turns: Pirouettes (Triple and quadruple), Fouettes (a la seconde), Turn Sequence of various with a strong center

Flexibility: Ballet turnout, Toe point is stretched, Needles-right and left

Leaps/Jumps: Toe touch (multiple/with various landings), Turning disc Calypso, Jete-Grand Jete- Switches-Firebird- Leaps (multiple variations)

Hip-Hop Skills: Kip up, Headspring, Rubberband, Various handstands/freezes

Tumbling (not required, but wanted): Aerials, Handsprings, Tucks

Individual Hip Hop and Pom Skill Series:
You must demonstrate a hip-hop stall/trick series of your choice. You will also demonstrate one of the fight songs using strong arms, straight wrists, proper vocals, and high toe pops.This should showcase your talent and strength. Judges will be evaluating the candidate on the difficulty and execution of the skills included.

Individual Choreography/Skill Demonstration:
You will be asked to perform a four (4) – eight count combination that emphasizes your personal strengths and highlights your skills and style. Music will be provided. Judges will be evaluating the candidate on the difficulty and execution of the skills included as well as individual style and body control demonstrated.

Prior dance experience is required. Three routines incorporating pom, jazz and hip-hop styles will be taught throughout the tryout process. During the routine portion of the tryout, dancers will be evaluated on attention to detail, memory, execution, versatility and showmanship. We expect a high level of technical strength, physical endurance, control and body awareness.

In addition to the skills and routines, you will be observed throughout the tryout process on your attitude, ability to learn quickly, enthusiasm, projection and overall performance.

Do you give dance team scholarships?
Yes. Every squad member receives $325/semester.

When and where are tryouts?
See the Tryouts page.

I want to go to KU – what do I do now?
Visit KU’s Admissions site, which has information on applying to KU, scholarships, financial aid, and housing.

I’m planning to visit KU. Can I meet the coach?
Head Coach, Raquel Thomas, is available in the evenings on Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays just before and during RCD practice. If you would like to schedule a meeting and private practice visit, email Coach Thomas at rthomas@kuathletics.com.
The coaches aren’t usually around during the day, but Cat Jarzemkoski (KU’s Spirit Squad Coordinator) would be happy to meet with you and answer any of your questions during your campus visit. To set up a time to meet, email Cat at catj@ku.edu.

How do I schedule the Rock Chalk Dancers for an event?
Complete the Spirit Squad Request form at least four weeks before your event.