Humans of RMU: The Dancer


Maura Linehan, Assistant A&E Editor

Dancing requires a unique set of physical and expressive talents, and while Kami Warnock — a freshman at Robert Morris — did not come to college to study dance, she still wanted to pursue her art as a student. She has been able to have that opportunity by joining the Colonial Elite Competition Dance Team, which is a student group that competes in dance team competitions at the college level.

“I chose to join Colonial Elite because I have loved to dance my whole life,” Warnock said. “This was an easy way to continue doing what I love.”


The timing could not have worked out better for Warnock. She was starting her first year at the University, and the dance team was just beginning as a new campus activity. As a result, it is taking extra effort to both compete and make others aware of the team.

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“We’re a new team, so we’re not very known,” Warnock said. “We have to work hard so we can get our name out there, and hopefully, one day become better known.”

With the team only being in its first year, they did not get to participate in as many competitions as they would have liked. Most competitions in hip-hop, the category they compete in, take place in early fall, which was when they were first getting organized.


Because it is a competition, there is a fixed format and judging criteria to each of the events that the team participated in.

“We use mixed music, and the length of a dance is usually around 2 minutes and 30 seconds,” Warnock said. “We compete in the open division in front of a panel of judges, who all use the same score sheet and judge us on our technique, difficulty, choreography, execution, and performance impression.”

Competition and organization can seem like a stressful activity to participate in for fun, but she has found that the time she spends on the dance team is rewarding from the perspective of both friendship and art.

“The best part is definitely all of the fun we have together, not only at competitions but at practice, too,” Warnock said. “We’re all allowed to be creative and put in our opinion, and sometimes the best dance moves are made when we’re being silly at practice.”


With Warnock’s experience in dance and cheer-leading, she knows that getting Colonial Elite organized was a big first step. As an experienced competitor, she has high hopes for what they can accomplish in the future.

“So far, our biggest accomplishment was getting this team started and getting out there to compete a little bit,” Warnock said. “In the future, we hopefully can say that we made it to Nationals and brought back a trophy.”