Demolition Divas take the field



By Beck Diefenbach

Artificial fog rolls over the ground as a loud voice takes over the Palmer Arena in Danville, “Please welcome your Demolition Divas!” A spotlight grabs a group of eight women running onto the AstroTurf field, receiving cheers and applause from the audience.

The Demolition Divas are the dance team for the Danville Demolition Indoor Football team, which was started just this year. The Divas perform for the audience throughout the game, with their main performance at half time.

The Divas are nine Danville, Urbana and Champaign women, and almost all of them are University students or alumni.

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Britany Patterson, freshman in Communications, has been with the team since the beginning. Despite the heavy University presence, she said she feels that the group is very diverse.

“I love meeting all the new people and different ages and backgrounds,” she said.

After three sets of tryouts from December to January, the team was constructed with the help of Dance Coordinator Kristin Klinker, 24, of Urbana. Klinker is also a University alumna.

With only a month of rehearsal until their first game, Klinker was proud to see what the team was able to pull together.

“The first game coming out of short rehearsal time was scary,” she said. “I pushed them really hard, and they looked phenomenal.”

Being part of the Divas has allowed these women to continue to dance despite their school or life commitments. Some of the Divas either danced together in high school or simply want a creative outlet.

Sheena Madonna Oatis lives in Danville with her new baby. She is very happy to find an activity that makes her feel young again, she said.

Not only does she work full-time, but Oatis also takes classes online. She said that being a Diva has been great for her.

“I definitely see myself staying with the team,” she said, “because it’s something positive for me to do.”

The Demolition Divas don’t get paid and they don’t have a real dressing room. This is a group of women who all love to dance. Oatis is one of those girls.

“No matter how many people are at the game, or how many aren’t at the game, (when) the lights are down, for that moment I’m in the spot light,” Oatis said, “and it’s all about ‘Oh Sheena, you’re in Hollywood.'”