Sirens, Whistles and Kazoo’s all signal one thing at Ursuline: The Freshman Dance. As seniors herd the freshman into a line, the music starts. From the first note to the final bow, green fobs fly as each freshman dances to a 5-minute mixed track. The tradition is common to all Ursuline students of the 2000’s, but it originated from the big-sis tradition of the 90’s.
“In the early 90’s, late 80’s Ursuline used to have big sisters and little sisters. It was common for a big sister to ‘kidnap’ a little sister and take her out to get breakfasts in her pajama’s,” Ms. Cecilia Nipp 86’ said, “But not every big sister would pull these shenanigans so there wasn’t anything that was distributed equally to all the freshman on campus.”
Some freshmen wanted to be involved in the lighthearted antics but weren’t provided with the opprotunity. Finally, around the late 90’s the freshman dance appeared at Ursuline to welcome all freshman in the same way.
Today we teach the freshman the dance on the first day of school. Each class lines up trying desperately to outperform the next. Finally, the seniors take the stage first performing their own dance and then performing the incoming freshman dance. This action provides a symbolic note that all seniors were once in the freshmen’s same shoes. But in the late 90’s the freshmen welcome was a little different.
“We learned the dance at lock-in,” Holly Heft ‘03 said, “It was right before school started in the cafeteria.” Lock-in was similar to what we now call freshman welcome. All of the freshmen would sleep over at Ursuline before school began, part of orientation was learning the freshman dance.
Once all the freshmen had the choreography down, they would perform at lunches. “We never knew when we were going to have to dance, a senior would just turn on the music and it was time to start” Heft said. “It was a bonding thing, no one was ever singled out or forced to do it.”
Ali Montemayor’s ‘03 senior class loved the freshman dance so much they taught it to the teachers. “As a surprise at intramurals, we taught the teachers the dance and on finale day they all did it.”
“No one was ever embarrassed to do it because they were doing it alongside their class,” Montemayor said.
Today, the tradition lives on with each senior class putting together a 5-minute dance for their own freshmen. Kate Lynch 22’ was in charge of choregraphing this year’s freshman dance.
“I was inspired to do it by my seniors as a freshman” Lynch said, “They were so inclusive, and I think it’s a really cool way for the seniors to give back to the freshman class”
Lynch’s favorite part of this year’s dance is how it incorporated intramural’s themes. In the middle of the Class of 2025 freshman dance there is a time for each of the Class of 2022 themes to have a spotlight: Grinch music for freshman year, You’ve Got A Friend in Me for sophomore year, and finally the Harry Potter intro.
The senior class of 2022 is known for their infamous fourth place placement sophomore year in intramurals. They even included a snip it of them losing in the music. “I think it’s cool to think our intramurals experiences are going to live on forever in the dance,” Lynch said.
So next time whistles, kazoos or sirens sound, get ready to start dancing keeping in mind the thousands of girls that danced before you.