Angelica Blais | Dance
Maclaine Chadwick | Fulcrum Staff
“Meet a Gee-Gee” takes a look at the people under the jerseys. Whether they’re varsity athletes or otherwise, we ask the players questions you want answers to. We get the dirt, straight from the horse’s mouth.
MEET ANGELICA BLAIS: third-year human kinetics student and avid dancer. Blais took a break from preparing for the dance team’s upcoming showcase to chat with the Fulcrum about her own experiences in dance and those of her teammates—who can do way more than the Dougie.
The Fulcrum: How long have you been dancing?
Angelica Blais: Sixteen years. I started with ballet, and I got into tap early on. When I got into competitive dancing was when I was introduced to jazz and lyrical, which are my two main styles. It wasn’t until high school that I discovered hip-hop, and that’s when I really started to grow as a dancer—when I had all of those different styles. I’m glad I got the basic ballet training, because that has helped me learn everything else.
What do you think is the biggest misconception about dancers?
That it looks easier than it is. A lot of people don’t understand the hard work we do and how difficult it is to get to the level we are at. A lot of us have been dancing for ten or more years, and it takes a lot of hard training to get to that point.
If you could be on any other team here at the U of O, what would it be?
Probably volleyball—I’m not very good at it, but I like it.
What is your fondest memory of being on the team?
Last year we did the NHL All-Star game and got to perform for the fans there. That was the coolest thing ever; I felt like I could do that for the rest of my life. We got to entertain the crowd and go up to kids and dance with them. It was such a great way to bring what we do to the community. That was the coolest thing I got to do with the team, but overall the best experiences I’ve had have been at competitions.
What is the biggest challenge that you face regularly as a dancer?
A big challenge for me was accepting myself as a dancer in my own body …. [Healthy] body image and self-esteem is a really big challenge in dance, especially when you are being critiqued and judged on the way your body moves.
If you could give any advice to a first-year student who wanted to try out for the team, what would it be?
Get involved in as many ways as you can with the dance community in Ottawa. There are classes that the university offers, and we have our own open classes every Friday. That’s how we get to know people in the community that aren’t on the team. We host non-competitive classes where people come and a member of the team teaches a combination or a class, and it’s a different style every week. It’s how we get to know you—I’ve gotten to know a lot of people who have auditioned for the team through those classes.
My teammates would vote me most likely to ________.
Fall. Or smile. We have this one choreographed dance move in one of our numbers where we jump and fall on our knees—I’m the only one that will ever do it, and I fly when I do it. I just fall to the ground.
What’s the best part of being a Gee-Gee?
The community, and just being able to say that I’m a Gee-Gee. It’s a community feeling—I have my Gee-Gees girls, and it’s almost like a second family.
The dance team is currently preparing for their annual fundraising showcase on March 3 at the Ottawa Little Theatre. Tickets are $10 for students and showtimes are 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.