The Stingers dance team has finally returned in an official capacity as part of the Emporia State Athletic Bands this semester.

“When we formed the team last year, our best bet was to become a (recognized student organization),” said Gaby Amparan, junior English education and health and human performance major. “Thankfully, though, Dr. Woodworth from the marching band took the Stingers under his wing and made us a part of the band. This gave us the opportunity to perform and made the ESU Stingers official once again.” 

Last year, they were a club that performed on the field unofficially. This left a lot of fiscal responsibility on the shoulders of the dancers, according to Amparan. 

“Our first year, we didn’t have much funding, so we had to pay for new uniform pieces and other dance gear ourselves,” Amparan said. “This year we plan to do some fundraising soon to help get new uniforms. Additionally, we get a $500 stipend since we are part of the band.” 

According to William Woodworth, director of athletic bands, the students of this team must be registered for respective ensembles during the fall and spring semester.

“We will perform with the marching band at the football games during pre-game and halftime,” Amparan said. “We will also march with them in all parades. During basketball season, we will get to perform at halftime. Any outside performances may occur per request as well.”

“We are 15 women strong this year, and we are really excited for the upcoming season,” said Addy Pruett, junior nursing major. “Our goal for this year is to get more fans into the games to help cheer on the Hornets.”

Although ESU’s cheer team falls under athletics, Stingers is in the performing arts, as part of the marching band.

“Technically, our team falls under the performing arts and not athletics, since we are a part of the marching band,” Amparan said. “Dancing is definitely an athletic though. We put so many hours of hard work into perfecting our routines for performance, which requires loads of athletic ability, stamina, energy and flexibility.”

Amparan said that she’s excited to start performing as part of the official team

“We are so excited to perform at football and basketball games,” Amparan said. “Many of us thought we’d be done dancing after high school, so having this team reinstated again is very special.”

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