Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan

Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan

Winona State University's Newspaper since 1919

The Winonan


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Several First-Year Students Off the Field: It’s Hip to Hip Hop

Contributed by Hip Hop Club
Hip Hop club in front of the IWC

While the typical field sports such as soccer and baseball are exciting, there is a vast variety of clubs at Winona State University that offer near endless opportunities for a workout. From powerlift- ing to fishing, dunking to dance, a fun new hobby is sure to stick.

This time, the Winona State Hip Hop Team has hopped into the limelight.

Created by students well before COVID-19, the Hip Hop team was an extremely compet- itive club that offered tryouts during the first week of school. With upwards of sixty people auditioning, it was typically only twenty that would go on to join the team.

After COVID, the team shifted into something far more re- laxed. Rather than searching for competitive dancers, the team opened itself up to all students as a fun opportunity to meet new people while either improving their dance skills or trying their luck at a recent activity without the high stakes of a competition.

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The current team is captained by fourth-years Claudia Johnson and Nicole Banicki.

Both girls have been enthu- siasts of dance since they were young, participating in activities such as theater and other dance teams throughout their youth. Moving to college, finding a group that they could chase their passion in was important, and hip hop was the way to go.

“I have always loved the fast pace and edgy movements in hip hop,” Banicki said. “I love that anyone can do it since it is free and does not require as much technique as other forms of dance.”

Banicki has been the captain of the hip hop team for an im- pressive three years, coaching dance for three more.

Though, there is no required skill or experience to join the team, Johnson and Banicki are just looking for students who they can share their love of dance with. They promote a unique and exciting way to exer- cise that takes place outside the constraints of a gym.

“People can expect two very friendly and passionate captains just doing what we love,” John- son said. “We want people to come join even if they’re just trying it out for the first time, it doesn’t matter, everyone can have a good time.”

Without the requirement of consistent practice and atten- dance, it is an easy, low-com- mitment way to relieve stress through exercise without the common expectations of typical sports teams.

Members of the team can anticipate learning dances both choreographed by the captains and other members of the team, as well as popular dances from the media.

“They will also be participat- ing in team bonding exercises and performing some of the dances they have learned,” Ban- icki said. “The team also loves to make TikTok’s and hopes to make more this year.”

The team has been known to perform at school events such as homecoming, an overly exciting opportunity to highlight their skills and display the challeng- ing work and team connection gained throughout the year.

The captains also intend to implement themed weeks, a fun new addition to the team that involves dressing up and learning dances based on said theme. Their first week is Barbie themed!

“We are going to have every- one dress up like Barbie or Ken and wear pink at our practice,” Johnson said. “Nicole and I want to teach them Barbie’s dance from the movie!”

The themes will change week- ly and will be led by the captains and other team members. The teams’ first meeting will

take place on Sept. 5 and will continue to occur every Tuesday at nine. They last only an hour or so to not take up too much personal time and give members a chance to learn choreography and practice as a team.

Benicki and Johnson are antic- ipating a good turnout for the se- mester and hope to see plenty of smiling fresh faces ready to dip into hip hop on Tuesday nights!

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About the Contributor
Kailey Doeseckle
Kailey Doeseckle, Sports Editor

Kailey Doeseckle (she/her/hers) is the Sports Editor for the Winonan as of fall 2023. Doeseckle is currently in her third year at Winona State University, majoring in Criminal Justice: Corrections and Justice Services with a minor in Psychology.

In addition to working for the Winonan, Doeseckle is also a part of the Wenonah Players club. She participates in their theatre productions as both an actress and a crew member.

Outside of university, Doeseckle loves to spend time with her roommates binge-watching their favorite shows, dancing to music, and singing quite off-key to musicals.  She also enjoys watching movies, creative writing, and board games. Doeseckle also loves meaningless drives to blast all her favorite songs, and spending lots of time outside in fall weather.

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