By Maizy Swift, Asst. Production editor
The Manhattan College Jasper Dance Team held their senior ceremony during the men’s basketball game against Saint Peters , where they celebrated the senior dancers as they near the end of their time on the team.
This event was an important night for the senior girls, as many of them have worked hard on the team these past years and this game was a special way to appreciate their hard work and effort.
Senior and captain of the dance team Samantha Miraglia described the night.
“The senior game was great, honestly I feel like it’s not really the end of the season but it is a nice little memory,” Miraglia said. “This is our little night to spoil ourselves almost, and it just was pretty sentimental to have your family there and everyone honor you and everything that you put in the team for those four years in the game aspect of things and in the basketball side of things.”
The team is very important to Miraglia, as she said it has been a source of joy in her life since she joined.
“It’s just such a special experience that you won’t get to experience unless being on the team, so really just take every moment and just enjoy what you have because it does happen really fast,” Miraglia said.
Miraglia doesn’t have any set plans for her dance career in the future, however, she is not opposed to taking advantage of an opportunity if it comes her way.
“I have considered the Brooklyn Nets or the Knicks, like some sort of dance team aspect but it’s a very unlikely chance with work and just kind of a thought if it works out it works out,” Miraglia said.
Miraglia has been dancing for most of her life and has been a part of the MC Dance Team for all four of her years here in Manhattan.
“I began dancing when I was just two years old, I did recreational dance until I was 15 and then I started company dance,” Miraglia said. “Then I began with Manhattan in 2019, so this is my fourth year with the Manhattan College students team.”
Many of the girls on the dance team have also been dancing for most of their lives, including senior Skylar Rossi.
“I started dancing when I was three years old and then danced my entire life,” Rossi said. “After I graduated high school, I took a year off to dance and then started dancing for the Manhattan College Dance Team my sophomore year and did it through.”
Rossi also is unsure of where her future dance career will take her, however, she acknowledges that dance will always hold a special place in her heart.
“Currently, I don’t really have plans of continuing but also I’m kind of open to whatever comes my way,” Rossi said. “Dance has been such a big part of my life for so long that even if I’m not actively dancing, it’ll still always be something that I enjoyed being part of my experiences.”
Captain of the dance team Christina Rella described her experience of the senior game.
“It was bittersweet,” Rella said. “I was happy to be recognized for my dedication to the Jasper Dancers, especially being that I am a current captain of the team. However, I was also sad because it means that my time on the team is coming to an end.”
Rella plans on auditioning for NBA or NFL teams in the future, along with teaching classes in her hometown dance studio and continuing training to go on with her dance career.
“In my dream world, I’ll be continuing my dance career for the rest of my life,” Rella said. “I do eventually plan to audition for some NBA or NFL dance teams because performing is something I just can’t give up,” Rella explained, “While working towards that, I plan to go back to my home dance studio to teach dance as well as go to Broadway Dance Center in NYC to keep up with my dance training.”
The dance team has been not only a source of fun for Rella but also a source of stability, especially during COVID.
“I don’t think I’d be the person I am today without the team,” Rella said. “It has taught me how resilient and dedicated I am, especially in my passions. I went through the team during the COVID seasons of uncertainty and sticking through that showed me the lengths I’d go to for the things I love. Being a captain of the team has shaped me into a leader and has taught me a lot about myself and working with others. I’ve made friendships that will last me a lifetime and memories that I will hold near and dear to my heart.”
Rella is not the only one who benefitted from the dance team during COVID. Senior Sara Rodriguez has also been on the team for all four years and explained how beneficial it was for her during that tough time.
“I came in freshman year and everything was fine,” Rodriguez said. “COVID hit and then when we came back in 2020, it was like classes were very up in the air. The only thing that seemed pretty solid was dance. Even with all of the uncertainty that’s happened over my last four years of being at Manhattan, and not because of schoolwork, but because of global events, it has really been a stabilizing force.”
Rodriguez is unsure if she will continue dancing in the future.
“I want to say never, but right now it looks like it will be the end of my dance career,” Rodriguez said. “My body just really needs a break.”
However, Rodriguez still plans on dancing as a hobby, as she stated,
“I think now it’s just going to turn into something more recreational that I do like every once in a while instead of on a daily basis like how I’ve known it for the past 20 to 18 years of my life.”
It is clear that the Manhattan College Dance Team is very special to its seniors, and it will remain important to them as they continue on in their lives and dance careers in the future.