UW-Madison dance team has Coulee Region flavor
Taylor Olson and Tayne Murphy have had dancing in their blood since they were tikes.
"I've been dancing for 15 plus years," says Taylor, a freshman at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
"I started taking two classes at Misty's my first year. Then I upped it to like 15 classes the next year and haven't really stopped since," recalls Tayne, a senior at UW-Madison.
The two graduated three years apart at La Crosse's Aquinas High School, so they only danced in school together for one year. But their dancing paths crossed long before they took the floor as Blugolds.
"We actually grew up dancing together at Misty's," remembers Tayne.
"It was good to have someone who was as interested in it as you. To invest the time that was outside of the requirements for performance company at the studio," says Taylor.
They traveled the Coulee Region and beyond dancing together, until Tayne moved on to dance at the UW-Madison.
Football games, basketball games, nationals filled the schedule, and even a couple trips to Pasadena for the Rose Bowl.
"I've looked for Tayne on TV at the Rose Bowl every year and I've caught glimpses of her," remembers Taylor.
Meanwhile, between watching for her pal on TV, Taylor was busy dancing, winning a state track title, and living the high school life.
After high school she chose to continue a long line of family that have gone to UW-Madison. "I've got cousins that've graduated here. My brother goes here. Aunts and uncles. Grandparents."
Now for one more year, the two Aquinas grads are representing the Coulee Region dance scene, along with assistant coach Jenna Anderson. "Those girls scored just as well as those other girls. So I was excited to have two local girls on the team as well," says Anderson, who won two national championships as the head coach of the dance team at Onalaska High School.
The former Blugolds are back dancing together on the hardwood and strutting their stuff in front of 80,000 screaming fans on gamedays. "I guess I'm biased, but the best moment is running out of that tunnel for the first time. And just being in that crowd, actually feeling that many people around you," says Tayne.
"I teared up. I've danced in front of big crowds in the past, but I think 80,000 is a new record," jokes Taylor.
For Taylor Saturday's game was just the final football game of the year, many of which are yet to come.
But for Tayne it was the last time she would take the field to cheer on the crimson and white. "There's a lot of first lasts coming up this year being a senior. I'm just going to miss having my friends in one place at one time."
One thing is sure, the road trips, the duets together, all those memories will dance in their heads for years to come.
"It's just fun to have those memories to fall back on and laugh about every once in a while," says Tayne.
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