Last week, rumors of a surprise Super Bowl performance from the University of Miami’s top spirit and dance teams spread across campus like wildfire. These rumors turned out to be true, as UM’s own Hurricanettes dance team, Sunsations dance team and Frost Band of the Hour appeared alongside pop icons Jennifer Lopez and Shakira at the 54th annual Super Bowl on Sunday, Feb. 2.
With the game taking place at Hard Rock Stadium, home to the Hurricanes football team during the regular season, many Canes were in attendance. The opportunity to not only attend, but perform is another thing all together, and it seems those lucky students were nothing short of ecstatic to take the big stage.
“The adrenaline you get from being in the midst of such a captivating, complex performance with so many layers is really so surreal,” said Jade Luo Santos, a sophomore cymbal player for the Frost Band of the Hour. “You’ll find me in the crowd on Shakira’s side. I’m right at the front so maybe you’ll see me reaching out to touch Shakira’s hand.”
Though appreciative of the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, Santos mentioned the difficulty of coming into a new semester bearing such a huge commitment.
“It definitely has been a lot to handle, especially because we’ve had to miss class for some rehearsals,” she said.
Although the experience was stressful, she and many others were still very eager to tackle the challenge, a showdown between top NFL teams the San Francisco 49ers, who have been using UM’s indoor football facility for practice, and the Kansas City Chiefs.
Peyton Hendricks, a junior psychology major and Hurricanettes dancer, said the performance has been in the making for quite some time and that, though stressful at first, things worked out once the team got into the swing of things.
“I’m feeling very excited and hyped about this performance,” Hendricks said. “So much work has been put into this by so many people to make it a great show.”
UM sophomore and Sunsation Rachel Alonso, who did not perform during the halftime show but did perform at the morning’s NFL Tailgate Party with the rest of her teammates, made sure to note how thrilled her team was to have the opportunity of dancing at such a high-caliber sporting event.
Alonso mentioned that it was intense but that her team and excitement helped her push through.
“Some of our teammates have been preparing for about two weeks now. They have been in intense eight-hour rehearsals multiple times a week,” she added. “Balancing school life and dance life is a challenge, but my team is very excited and honored to be dancing at such a huge sporting event. Feeling thankful, excited and ready to rock this stadium.”
Of her actual performance, Alonso said “It was surreal seeing all of the famous people attending and being able to perform at Dan + Shay and Pitbull’s sets. I am so grateful I got this one-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”