Knightline emphasizes talent, school spirit

Senior chemistry major Jess Bataglia leads the way for her fellow dancers during their performance at Relay for Life. The Knightline crew has been asked to perform at a wide variety of campus events, allowing them to become more well-known among the students. (Annalee Bainnson/Assoc. Photo Editor)

The semester might be winding down, but the Geneseo Knightline crew is in full swing. 

Geneseo Knightline is a high-powered, energetic dance team that consists of approximately 28 women.  

The dance team does several performances on campus, including basketball games, hockey games and occasionally lacrosse games. The women generally perform during halftime at the varsity games, maintaining the crowd’s excitement. The team also performs at non-athletic events, such as Relay for Life, admission events and other events around campus.  

“We do jazz routines, fast upbeat fun stuff and a kick line … we’re basically the Rockettes,” junior co-captain Taylor Gerner said jokingly.

The team is a selected group of girls who must audition before joining. 

“We have tryouts at the beginning of every year,” junior co-captain Renee Katafiaz said. “Knightline is something that you need previous experience for.”  

Geneseo does not fund the team, so when it comes to uniforms and studio time, it is all on their own dime. Due to the lack of funds, the team rarely participates in tournaments or competitions. Since most of the competitions are out of state or far away, it is difficult for the team to get the funds to compete and participate in them. 

“We pay for everything,” Katafiaz said. “Uniforms are all us, and we have to book our own studio time.”  

But that does not stop the team from being dedicated and hard-working. They have practice twice a week on Sundays and Tuesdays, for which attendance is mandatory. Knightline is a selective group of girls; to have all 28 on the same page, they must practice together. 

The dedication to the program has helped it grow in popularity over the past few years. 

“My freshmen year was the first time we performed at hockey games,” Katafiaz said. “Before, it was always doing the basketball games and sometimes lacrosse games if the weather worked out and then that was it.”  

Not only have they grown in popularity in terms of the amount of events they perform, but more people on campus seem to recognize them. 

“How well we’re known on campus has grown,” Katafiaz said. “The amount of events we get invited to perform at has definitely increased a lot.”

What is unique about the team is that they create all of their own choreography, with no help from an instructor. Not only do they do their own choreography, the captains also do pretty much everything—analogous to being a quarterback for the team.

“Captains pretty much do everything,” Katafiaz said. “All the administrative stuff, booking studio time, choreography, running practices and running the performances.”  

“We have a faculty advisor,” Gerner said, “but they’re just there just so that we can be an organization.”

Because of the close-knit group, both captains said that the hardest part about the whole thing is staying focused while practicing with their best friends, where being authoritative can be a challenge.

Nevertheless, their hard work has shown to pay off, as the Knightline performances are something that students look forward to at any event. The women provide an extra sense of school spirit and positivity at all of the events they perform at.