The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

Dancing for over 40 years or more

Chandler Smith
The Eastern Illinois University Dancers practice a routine in the Globe Theatre of Doudna Fine Arts Center Tuesday night.

Every spring semester, Eastern’s dancers come together to show what they have been doing and working on throughout the year. 

Mandy Transon, the director of EIU Dancers, knows a lot about the team and how hard they work.  

That hard work and dedication has helped them grow together as a team.  

“So, I mean, we are also like, close,” Transon said.  “We all love being together and going to practice together. We have practiced all year long for this big showcase at the end of the year and then we are also every now and then going to and perform at a few little things around campus.”

The bond they have brings out the importance of dancing in Transon and the hope is that people will join them as part of Eastern’s dance team. 

The team bond is important to Transon for everything the team continues to accomplish.  

The team also gets together afterwards while meeting up outside of the practice times.  

“I love my teammates we get along so well,” Transon said.  “We work hard. We are dedicated. We all have the same goal, which is nice, and everybody is respectful, and we spend time together outside all the time of dance. Even though we see each other every day and dance we still spend time together outside dance because we just love getting to know each other.” 

Transon also knows how much dancing helps on a regular basis with the emotions Transon has had and how it brings a better comfort zone when talking to people.  

“Through dancing, I have learned how to express myself,” Transon said. “Because I am someone who likes to keep my emotions bottled up. I have a challenging time expressing it but then with dance, no matter what it is, I can put on music, and I can just show myself and express myself. It just helped me get through a lot of tough times.”

Dancing shows how people can express themselves in diverse ways and with that demonstrating emotions in a way that dancers can achieve.   

“So, I am just someone who has never been the person to say what is on my mind,” Transon said. “I am not sure how to show people how to say it, but I can show it through dance. I can express my emotions through dance but not through words.” 

The EIU dancers have a schedule for the school year and hope to bring energy to the performances and how the team plans to include other people in the dancing.  

This will include a Dance Day for anyone in the community to enjoy.  

“November, or December, we are looking forward to performing at the Winter Festival for Doudna and we are also November 10, we are having our like, bring a friend to Dance Day,” Transon said. “So, everybody, like kind of people are going to come it is kind of like a fundraiser and like, we will dance for them, but then they will also like, take dance classes from us. So, it is kind of like include everybody kind of thing. That is my favorite day of the year.” 

To join EIU dancers, one must try out after filling out the online form 

The tryouts are normally set at the beginning of the fall semester. 

“So, at the beginning of each year, typically early September, we hold our tryouts, and they are a few days long, typically two or three days long,” Transon said. “And everybody is welcome. You know, styles, ages, experience. It is all welcome. We welcome everyone to come and try out and audition.”  

The EIU dancers have performed for years starting “in 1904, Pemberton Hall hosted the university’s first co-ed dance and since the 1930s,” according to Eastern’s website. “A dance group had been formed in the 1960s, but the director left with no one to take her place. Until 1981, there was no official RSO dance group open to dancers from all majors.” 

The EIU Dancers auditions are at the start of the fall semester, and membership lasts through the end of spring semester. 

The EIU dancers welcomes everyone to try out and be part of the team.  


Chandler Smith can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].

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Chandler Smith
Chandler Smith, Reporter
Chandler Smith is a senior broadcast journalism major. He previously served as a reporter at The News.

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