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Girl of the Week

04/12/2012, 5:06am CDT
By Jessica Baltes

Q&A with SPT rookie, Richelle!

Richelle is a first-year member of the Swarm Performance Team. She graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in retail merchandising and works as an e-commerce vendor onboarding specialist.

Richelle has a beagle mix named Riley and a yellow lab named Shelby. She is active in the yoga and fitness community, both as a participant and a volunteer. Her favorite memory thus far was volunteering at a Triathlon water stop, which she found very inspiring. In her free time, Richelle enjoys yoga, running, any kind of fitness class, golfing and dancing!

Jessica Baltes from the Minnesota Swarm recently caught up with Richelle.

Baltes: How did you find out about the SPT and what led you to try out?

Richelle: The dance world is fairly small actually, and the SPT is definitely a desired team to be on. The Swarm has a great following and the desire to bring dance into my life at a professional level was what led me to try out.

Baltes: Has the experience thus far been what you expected it to be?

Richelle: Yes, and more. The games and appearances have of course been a huge highlight to the season, but so have our amazing sponsorships.

Baltes: What was the first performance like for you? Was it nerve wracking dancing in front of thousands of people at Xcel?

Richelle: There were definitely a lot of butterflies going on. I could not believe how packed the stands were. Those nerves quickly faded when the support roared from the stands.

Baltes: Have there been any memorable appearances?

Richelle: One of my first appearances was the Holiday Bowl at Pinz. Being able to meet many "die-hard" fans, who've been ticket holders from the beginning, was exciting and eye opening. With such a dedicated following, and lines out the door, I knew I was in store for an amazing season.

Baltes: You started dancing as a young child. How did you get into it?

Richelle: I took my first dance class at the age of three and never went back. I started competitively dancing at a local studio at a young age. After dancing on my high school dance team for four years, I then had the honor of dancing for the University of Minnesota dance team for two years. I am so fortunate to now be dancing for my first professional team.

Baltes: What do you do for work?

Richelle: I work for a local internet retailer. My job is to bring the newest/freshest brands to our website, and find the right suppliers to partner with in doing so.

Baltes: This Saturday is College Night at the Hive. You graduated the University of Minnesota and fulfilled your dream of performing on the dance team while you attended. How does the experience of dancing for the U of M compare with the Swarm?

Richelle: The SPT is a much smaller team. With only 10 girls, you really become close knit and everyone brings something very unique to the table. The list of dance accomplishments amongst the team is incredible, as well as professional ones. I have learned so much from these women already.

Baltes: What do Swarm fans have to look forward to from the SPT this weekend?

Richelle: High energy routines! We often bring in guest choreographers, but these routines are all choreographed by the SPT and coaches.

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