They are not the University Dancers. They are not cheerleaders.
They are the SpinnURs, and they are one of the most under-recognized groups on campus. A quick straw poll of those around you will provide ample evidence. Despite the SpinnURs’ performances at halftime of the men’s and women’s home basketball games, few University of Richmond students are aware of the team.
During halftime, the SpinnURs entertain with carefully choreographed dances set to upbeat music. The SpinnURs recently purchased new uniforms, short blue skirts and sleeveless, white, turtleneck tops with the letters “UR” in red on the chest. The combination of new uniforms and carefully done makeup brings life to the Robins Center during halftime, which is exactly what the SpinnURs want.“The purpose of SpinnURs is to enhance audience experience and make the basketball games even more fun,” Julie Auersperg, SpinnURs co-captain, said.
After a year off from performing because of a lack of membership and some older members studying abroad, the SpinnURs are working to accomplish that goal, while also becoming more recognized on campus.
The team has internalized its purpose, making it rewarding to be captain, Auersperg said. “The best part of leading the team for me is when I finally see my choreography come together and executed by the group,” she said. “Being a captain of the team this year has been so easy, because my team works so hard and is so passionate about dancing.”
Other members of the team have been equally impressed by the captains’ leadership. “Our team atmosphere is very casual and fun, but we also know when to be serious,” SpinnUR Rebecca Fradkin said. “Our captains do a great job of balancing this.”
Fradkin said the combination of working hard and enjoying herself made the SpinnURs worthwhile.
“The best part of being on the team for me is being able to continue dancing in college while also doing it in a fun, low-stress and energetic environment,” she said. “I’ve been dancing my whole life, and it’s not something that I wanted to give up in college.”
Being a part of the team also gives the dancers opportunities to make memories, Auersperg said.
“My favorite memory from a game was my freshman year at the VCU game,” she said. “Richmond beat VCU in double overtime, and the game was very intense. The student section stormed the court, and we all had to hold onto each other to make sure that we didn’t get trampled. Performing that game was extra special to me because of the high energy from the crowd.”
The memories extend beyond the performances to practices and team dinners designed to give the team time to bond and develop chemistry. Rae Randolph, a sophomore, described her teammates as one of her favorite parts of SpinnURs, because “they’re hilarious.”
The SpinnURs will be performing next on Wednesday, February 24th when the men’s basketball team plays George Washington.
Editors Note: Rebecca Fradkin is on The Collegian staff.
Contact Lauren Onestak at firstname.lastname@example.org