Last Thursday, the Prowlers, a Trinity dance team and spirit organization, had their tryouts for the 2017–2018 academic year. The student-run club promotes wellness of mind and body for students interested in diverse styles of dance.

Marina Jones Schweitzer, a junior communication major, would like to see the group become a stronger presence on campus.

“The vision for Prowlers is to become an actual Trinity thing in the next five years,” said Schweitzer. “We want to be become more official and more professional. We’re really just trying to emphasize more skill, hence why we’re making the members from last year re-audition.”

The Prowlers did something new this year: They invited Colleen Hill, dance and yoga instructor at Trinity, to create a routine for the dancers in order to enhance the team’s skill. At tryouts, Hill is choreographing the entire routine and then meeting with the captains to discuss her thoughts.

“We’re definitely looking for more skill and more professionalism, but that’s not necessarily the best dancer,” Schweitzer said. “We’re looking for someone who has something to offer to the team, they show enthusiasm, and when they’re performing, they have a strong stage presence.”

In 2011, the Student Government Association (SGA) cut the Prowlers’ funding because they found the dance team to be too similar to the cheerleading team. Because of this, they have struggled with funding and their numbers have dwindled since.

“Prowlers are recruiting and holding auditions to grow the team,” said Nathaly Salazar, a junior double-majoring in biology and history. “We are looking forward to have the team participate in many school spirit and culture events this year. Our final team roster is still pending, but it looks like Prowlers might double in members.”

In order for a student organization to be funded by the university, they must submit a funding request form to SGA between five and six weeks in advance to ensure that they may receive their funds before the date of their event.

“Those students that request funding then present their budget to SGA and the senators discuss and decide whether or not to approve the spirit of the request,” said Sam Afshari, junior SGA senator majoring in biology and minoring in communication. “If the spirit is approved, we discuss the budget and exactly how much we will allocate. Our meetings are completely open to the public, so if students have questions regarding how the funding process work, they can come to our meetings at 5:30 p.m. on Mondays.” SGA senate meetings are held in the Waxahachie room on the second floor of the Coates University Center.

Most of the dances are choreographed by the dancers on the team, but keeping a dance coach for the year would help the Prowlers choreograph some new routines. This is one major reason the Prowlers want to establish a budget with SGA funding.

The team differentiates themselves from other organizations on campus in that they perform different styles of dance. The cheerleading team focuses on cheerleading for games and the Loon-E Crew solely performs hip-hop routines. The Prowlers take up different styles, ranging from jazz to ballet to lyrical. They primarily dance at football and basketball games, but also perform at cultural events, such as Diwali.