Management major Caitlin Rodgers ’21 is giving her leadership skills a workout, combining her passion for dance with her business education. A dancer since age 3, Rodgers, a native of Ronkonkoma, NY, is one of three Hofstra Dance Team co-captains. She taught dance at different studios during high school and was drawn to Hofstra while following the dance team on social media. During Welcome Week her first year, Rodgers attended the club fair, auditioned and made the team.
“As a co-captain, I help keep the team organized, head up parts of training, serve as a mentor to underclassmen, and communicate with coaches, keeping the team happy,” Rodgers said. “Several of the classes I’m taking in the business school help in my progression as a leader on the dance team..”
“In particular, public speaking, business writing, and all of my management classes aid me in realizing why it is important to be a leader who others want to follow or listen to, rather than just a manager (or a captain) who they have to listen to,” she added. “I think that’s a really important lesson I’ve learned that has helped me in my journey as captain this year on the dance team.”
Juggling her studies at the Frank G. Zarb School of Business and her role as a leader of the dance team is also teaching Rodgers a lot about time management.
“I make sure to use any free time I have to get school work get done,” Rodgers said. “I don’t leave it – I do my work during any breaks and make sure I’m productive.”
Time management skills are essential since Rodgers and the team practice a minimum of 12 hours per week, getting ready for games and competitions. They perform at basketball games and participate in regional and national competitions, including the Universal Dance Association competition, and have won seven national championships.
Rodgers credits the team’s success to strong communication and a team work ethic.
“We are accepting of one another, understanding each other’s lives and what each person needs as a dancer,” she said, adding that the experience of balancing individual and team goals is a critical skill that translates well to business. “We train to be independent and strong while working together.”
The team also volunteers together, on and off campus. They recently participated in a food drive, have worked to support the Hofstra Votes civic engagement campaign, and often perform at children’s hospitals and charity walks, including the Lustgarten Foundation’s Pancreatic Cancer Research Walk and the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk at Jones Beach this fall.
After graduation, Rodgers hopes she can continue to pursue the two things she loves most: dance and business.
“I love learning about business at Zarb,” she said. “If I can combine dance and business I would be the happiest person alive.”