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Gymnastics team has fun, carries on traditions

(01/23/15 4:45am)

When fans think gymnasts, they think elegant flips, mounts, dismounts, tumbles and stuck landings. The last thing someone would picture is gymnasts dancing to Cotton Eye Joe. The Rednex 1995 instant classic is played at every home meet right as the gymnasts are heading to their final event on floor. The Central Michigan University gymnasts that are watching from the sidelines bust a move to this popular song while often. “We’ve been doing it since (19)96,” said head coach Jerry Reighard. Reighard, who has lead CMU since 1984-5, has seen countless gymnasts come and go, yet, the Cotton Eye Joe dance traditions live on after nearly two decades. “I feel like it’s a way to loosen up before the last event,” said senior Taylor Noonan. “It gets everyone on their feet, the kids seem to just absolutely love it. It’s kind of like the seventh inning stretch sort of thing. It takes the pressure off the girls and have some fun.” By the time the dance starts, the Chippewas are heading to their final rotation. The dance gives the team a chance to bond with the home fans. The floor mat is located in the corner of McGuirk Arena, in between the general seating and the student section. “It gets everyone pumped up, when its on everyone gets happy and the fans dance along,” said junior Taylor Bolender. “It de-stresses you when you’re on floor warming up.” For freshman like Katy Clements has found herself dancing with the rest of the team in all three home meets thus far and admits they do it even at practice. “We will sometimes even do it on the practice day before a meet,” said Clements.