Torch Photo/Gabriella Campos
Remember that group of girls in sparkly red dresses who performed at the St. John’s New York Christmas Spectacular last month?
Yeah, they were kicking their legs up way past their heads to Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You.”
Well that’s the St. John’s club kickline team — the Stormettes — and yes, their legs can actually kick that high.
“What I love most about it [kickline], when the beat drops it’s the kicklines way of knowing that’s when we kick and we have a big kick sequence— there are so many different types of things that you can do with kickline that make it special,” Stephanie DiPrima, a junior and captain of the team, said.
DiPrima came from a high school kickline background and wanted to continue her passion in college.
Her freshman year she walked in campus recreation, picked up an application to start the club sport and found of a group of others students who wanted to either get back to their kickline roots or try it out for the first time.
There was enough interest for it to get approved by campus recreation and the team was approved the summer of 2016.
While St. John’s already had a dance team and a cheer squad, what DiPrima said makes kickline different is its intense focus on posture, lines and legs.
“Kickline is more like the Rockettes, proper and perfect— we focus on standing in line and hooking,” DiPrima said.
DiPrima added the dance team is more based on hip-hop moves and the cheer squad features mostly traditional cheer stunts.
The team practices up to three times a week, making it not as large a time commitment as other sports at St. John’s, but during practice DiPrima said it’s time to focus.
Some school-wide events the kickline team performs at includes Open Houses, Accepted Students Day, the New York Christmas Spectacular, Relay for Life, select soccer and basketball games and in April a special showcase event where all the dance troops on campus meet for performances.
Sophomore Nicole McGovern has been on kickline since her freshman year and became a co-captain last fall.
She credits the team to gaining some of her best friends as well as growing as a performer.
“Every practice, every routine, every performance is a chance to grow to become a better dancer and a better me,” McGovern said. “Being a new team on campus the pressure is on. But one thing is for sure it fuels us, more and more opportunities to show our talent are being given to us everyday.”
Michelle Sciortino, a senior, couldn’t wait to join a kickline team again.
“When I saw that they were starting a team at St. John’s I knew I had to join,” she said. “The past two years on the team have been so amazing and I’m sad I have to leave since I’m graduating. I hope that kickline continues to grow even more after I graduate and that everyone at SJU gets to see how amazing it truly is.”
Students interested in kickline can try out at the start of the school year and DiPrima ensured that prior kickline experience is not necessary.
She said, “We’ll take anyone as long as they can kick high and have rhythm.”
“As a new team I think we have a lot of talent and potential to grow over the years to share more about what a kickline is and what we do,” Danielle Gerbe, a sophomore, said. “I’m grateful for being on the Stormettes in that I was not only to pursue what I love but also make friends that share the same passion as me.”
As the dancers like to say before a performance, “One, two, three — Stormettes!”