Kayla is a first-year member of the Swarm Performance Team. She graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College with a degree in dance and communications studies. She currently works for a national nonprofit organization called Playworks. Kalya is also in the Minnesota Vikings Cheerleaders’ Training Program, teaches dance at Jan’s School of Dance and is the coach of Lakeville South’s Fall Dance Team.
How did you learn about the SPT and what made you want to join the team? Were you a Swarm fan prior to trying out for the team?
I learned about SPT during research about dance opportunities outside of college. I wanted to join the team because it looked like a great organization where I would be able to dance, bond with a great group of girls, be a role model to young people and support a growing Minnesota sport.
The home opener was my first swarm game, but I am so proud to be able to promote a growing organization. Everyone I have talked to about the Swarm has said they absolutely love the games, atmosphere, organization and everything that it brings to Minnesota.
What was it like to perform in front of thousands of people at Xcel for the home opener? Did you get nervous?
It was the most exhilarating feeling in the world. I was a little nervous because it was my first game but once I was out on the field looking at all the amazing and excited fans, I couldn’t help but cheer and smile. I wasn’t sure if I should laugh or cry because it was the best feeling in the entire world, and I am so blessed that I had the opportunity.
Have you developed any pre-game rituals?
My own pre-game ritual consists of jamming in my bathroom as I am getting ready for the game.
What do you like most about being on the SPT so far?
I love everything about being on SPT, but I do love interacting with the fans, taking pictures, and hearing why they too are so passionate about the Swarm.
What are some of your favorite event appearances that you have attended this season?
I really enjoyed the Holiday Bowl because we got to interact with all of the fans that make Swarm what it is and because I got to play in the arcade with some awesome kids. I also enjoy the appearances at the games. It is great to get to know the fans and talk about the game and atmosphere.
You started dancing at a very young age and have participated in a number of different types of dance. How did you get into it? Do you have a favorite style of dance?
My mom put me in dance at the age of two. I was wiggling around before I could even walk, and music always seemed to ease me. As I grew older my mom always told me I didn’t have to stay in it if I did not want to, but it was something I never wanted to be without. I wouldn’t be me without dance. She believed me too, because I use to dance down the grocery store aisles. I never stopped dancing. Over the years I have participated in everything from Jazz and Clogging to Modern and Ballet. I really love all types of dance but if I have to choose it would be Jazz or Contemporary.
In addition to the SPT, you are also a member of the Minnesota Vikings Cheerleader’s Training Program, you teach, you coach…approximately how many hours do you spend dancing in a typical week?
It depends on the week how many hours because we also have to add in when I just go dance, by myself, for me. I would say I spend 12-15 hours a week dancing now that I work a full-time job.
If I could go back to college and dance as many hours as I did then, it would be awesome.
Is there a particular song would you like to see the SPT develop a routine for, or is there a genre of music you really enjoy dancing to?
I love dancing to music that will get the crowd dancing along with us!
What do Swarm fans have to look forward to from the SPT this Saturday?
Swarm fans can look forward to watching two impressive dances from the SPT as well as wonderful energy and fun throughout the game!