Frequently Asked Questions
What type of dancer are you looking for?
Currently, The Illinettes Dance Team consists of 28 hard working, technically trained dancers. They come from all different dance backgrounds, from their high school poms teams to ballet companies. Illinettes are versatile, and able to adapt to different styles. We are looking for dancers who are strong technically, have great listening abilities, are adaptable, personable, and strong. Illinettes need to be specialized in pom, jazz, and hip hop.
What is the time commitment?
The time commitment varies from football to basketball season. In the fall, the Illinettes rehearse with the Marching Illini and have their own additional practice times. Band rehearsal goes from Tuesday-Friday, typically for an hour and a half. Sectionals usually run Monday-Wednesday, with varying times. Football games are on Saturday mornings, afternoons and occasionally at night. A typical football game day morning consists of a 7 a.m. call time for morning rehearsal, a 9 a.m. lunch break, and a 11 a.m. kick off. During basketball season the team has two to three practices a week, and no band rehearsal. Men and women's basketball games run during the weekdays and weekends.
How involved are the Illinettes with the Marching Illini?
The Illinettes Dance Team is a very important part of the Marching Illini. We perform drill with the band during the pregame and halftime performance, travel with the band on various trips throughout the year, and attend Band Camp at the beginning of the school year to learn marching fundamentals. The Illinettes are proud members of the Marching Illini.
What is the difference between The Illinettes Dance Team and The Illini Dance Team?
The Illinettes Dance Team is the official dance team of the University of Illinois. At the end of the 2013-2014 season, The Illinettes Dance Team merged with what was once the competitive dance team on campus, The Illini Dance Team. Now one very talented, powerful team of 28 girls, the Illinettes are extremely proud to perform for the University and carry out Illinois traditions together. Although there are various club dance teams on campus, the Illinettes is the team that is recognized by The University of Illinois Bands as well as Illinois Athletics.
Is attendance mandatory?
Yes. In fact, Marching Illini and Basketball practice is considered a class and members receive a grade and academic credit for it. The practices that are in place must be attended in order to maintain the growth and integrity of our group numbers, as well as a passing grade. Extreme illnesses, death in family, and weddings of immediate family members are excused with proper documentation. Exams, non-pressing illnesses, and homework are not excused, and will result in being pulled from a halftime or pregame performance.
Is there a cost to join?
No. The Illinettes are required to purchase personal items such as warm-ups, boots, gym shoes, etc., but are not required to pay a fee for being on the team. Uniforms and poms are paid for by the University.
Are Illinette members involved in other activities or Greek life?
Yes. Many of our members are student leaders in various Registered Student Organizations (RSOs) and belong to Greek organizations. Illinette sectionals and Marching Illini practice always take priority, but our members learn time management skills and have been able to schedule around academics and practices.
What is the summer, Thanksgiving and winter break commitment like?
Over the summer weekends, the Illinettes meet three to four times to practice sideline routines and features for football season. All members are expected to be in attendance. Over the past two years, the Illinettes have also traveled to a 4-day UDA Dance Camp with mandatory attendance. A week before classes resume, the Illinettes join the entire Marching Illini for a week-long Band Camp. During this time, the Illinettes learn how to march and read drill, are memory tested on dances and clean routines.
Over Thanksgiving and winter break, the Illinettes perform at football and basketball break games. Within the team, members can sign up for certain basketball games to dance at, but all girls are expected to be in attendance at football games. Members are provided per diem for men and women's basketball break games. All Illinette members are also expected to attend Bowl Games and the 2015 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade trip.
Who in runs practices and choreographs dances?
Our two captains are in charge of all Illinette practices. Most members have the opportunity to choreograph for the team. We also bring in choreographers to provide additional dance material.
What happens at practice clinics and are they mandatory?
Attendance at our two practice clinics is not required in order to tryout for the team. However, it is encouraged that all interested women attend in order to get a better feel for the team's dance style, what is expected as a member, how tryouts will go, etc. At practice clinics, attendees will work on technique, learn a sample routine or two, and have a Q&A session with current members. Comfortable dance attire and proper footwear is recommended (ex. sports bra, light weight tank top or tee, dance shorts, jazz shoes, gym shoes, etc.).
What should I expect at tryouts?
Please visit our 2017 Auditions page for information about tryouts.
Are all academic majors accepted?
Yes. Our team members come from a variety of majors. We have engineers, dance majors, biology majors, business students, etc.
Have more questions? Feel free to contact us!