Stephanie Schmeski, a junior at Saint Xavier University from Alsip, Ill., is currently in her first year on the SXU Paw Prints Dance Team. Schmeski is working toward a major in biology and a minor in chemistry and pre-medicine.
Why did you choose to come to Saint Xavier?
I transferred to Saint Xavier from Moraine Valley Community College this year. In all honesty, I could not have made a better decision! I love the "at home" feeling that Saint Xavier provides to its students. Everyone has school pride and it already feels like a family. I like the small class size and the personal relationships you are able to build with the professors. In choosing a school, it was important that I wouldn't just be a number on a professor's class roster. I love the people I have met and the friends I have made. It is also convenient that I live less then 10 minutes away!
What are your goals for this season?
This season, we just want to keep improving and challenging ourselves. We want to choreograph more routines, incorporate more levels of technical difficulty, and just give it our best. We plan to "up our game" for Nationals and bring back another first place trophy!
Do you have any pre-game rituals?
Before games, we usually warm up our sidelines and routines. We "mentally" prepare ourselves with the routine. As silly as it may sound, we imagine performing the routine in our heads, while listening to the music. It really helps to ensure each member is feeling the music. Of course, we actually run through the routines a few times. Our coach really enforces the "practice makes perfect" rule. And we put on, what feels like, 12 layers of red lipstick (ha!).
What is your involvement on campus?
Because this is my first year on campus, I took it relatively easy to get a feel for the school. Currently, I am just on dance and a member of Tri-Beta. I am really looking forward to trying to get more involved next year. Our school has so much going on and so many different ways to get involved.
Who is your favorite athlete?
I would have to say my favorite dancer is Julianne Hough (if anyone has seen Dancing with the Stars). I really look up to her as a dancer and choreographer. She can sell any style of dance and her routines are creative as well as artistic. She really incorporates what it is to be a dancer and how to get the crowd's attention. The best types of dancers are ones that make the audience enjoy themselves, even if it only for a two-minute routine!