Cal State Fullerton dancers give back, teaching and thrilling young girls in the process
With plenty of national championship trophies to prove it, the Cal State Fullerton Dance Team has earned the reputation as one of the top college dance teams in the country.
And it’s not a stretch to assume that the 75 Tiny Titans who performed with the Titan dancers at a recent CSUF basketball game included some future national champions.
Titan Dance coach Jennie Volkert, a Titan dance dancer herself from 1992-97, started the Tiny Titan Spirit Clinic six years ago, inspired by a cheer clinic her daughter had attended.
With Titan dancers and their coaches serving as instructors, girls ranging in age from 5 to 12 learned a cheer and a dance during this year’s afternoon clinic on Feb. 3.
“You can tell they are all trying and they are taking home skills that they can use in their future dance classes and apply what they have learned here,” said Titan dancer Valerie Gaitan, who served as an instructor. “I think it’s a great experience for them overall.”
The highlight came during halftime of the CSUF-UC Irvine basketball game that evening, when the Tiny Titans joined the Titan dancers on the court to perform their newly learned routine.
“She had a blast,” said Laura Vanderhook of Newport Beach, whose 6-year-old daughter Stella participated in the clinic. “She said she is going to Cal State Fullerton and be on the dance team.”
Darlene Martinez, mother of Tiny Titan Daelynn Martinez, 9, said the coaches were “amazing” and the clinic was “the best thing we’ve ever done.”
“I love coming and she (Daelynn) loves doing it,” Martinez said.
The clinic is as rewarding for the Titan dancers as it is for their pupils, Volkert said.
“They love it because they remember being that young and looking up to college dancers,” Volkert said.
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