Hofstra dance team is Super Bowl warm-up act
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Going to the Super Bowl? Be prepared to bust a move.
The Hofstra University Dance Team will be there hours before kickoff Sunday as the official Super Bowl XLVIII "Warm Up Crew."
The group of 20 dancers, several of whom are from Long Island, will be fanning out around MetLife Stadium armed with stereos on wheels to pump up fans.
"I just think it's great a school from Long Island is given this opportunity," said Danielle Bradle, 20, a sophomore from Commack. "I'm just going to enjoy every second of it."
Starting around 11 a.m., 7 1/2 hours before the game, the team will be teaching arriving football fans dance moves and hosting other activities. It'll also be giving away commemorative hats, gloves and other gear to help fans stay warm.
To get people moving and grooving, the students intend to stage impromptu dance-offs, pitting fans against each other.
"I'm looking forward to being interactive with the crowd . . . getting everyone pumped," said Maya Williams, 18, a freshman from South Huntington.
"I want to see some grown men shake their booties," said the team's co-captain, Brittani French, 22, a senior from Wilmington, Mass.
Forgoing its usual blue-and-white uniforms, the team will be dressed in special gray outfits accessorized with Super Bowl hats and scarves.
The dancers were recruited for the gig by a former team member, Tracy Petro, now a marketing manager for the Jets.
The Hofstra team has some pro football experience: It performed along with Usher at a 2008 season kickoff concert for the Super Bowl champion Giants.
In January, the team competed against hundreds of other Division I squads at cheer and dance championships in Orlanda, Fla., placing well in several categories.
At the Super Bowl, how will the team manage to keep dancing for seven hours?
That's nothing, the dancers say. With some of their practices lasting up to 13 hours, they've learned how to keep each other hoofing.
"We're all 20 best friends," French said. "It's really easy for us to see someone who might be getting tired and get them going, because we are all on the same boat.
"We are really self-motivated. . . . This is going to be a piece of cake for us," she said.