For almost as long as the Calgary Roughnecks Drill Crew have existed, Dana Murphy has been apart of the dance crew.
The first few years saw her as just part of the entertainment, dancing a few times a game for those in attendance.
But four years in when the Drill Crew were in need of a new manager and choreographer, Murphy stepped up to the plate.
“You definitely have your struggles moving up from a member of the team to an authority figure so the girls on the team were really supportive and very respectful,” Murphy recently told CalgaryRoughnecks.com. “It was an easy transition but it definitely took a couple of years to get it down pat.”
Murphy easily had the experience necessary to see the Drill Crew mature – she’d been a dancer all of her life and later taught the sport. She also had experience with the Calgary Stampeders’ Outriders.
“I had a lot of choreography in that aspect, but coming into sports entertainment, it’s quite different than what you see in studios and on stage.”
When Murphy took over the leadership of the Drill Crew, it was a shell compared to what it was now.
“Just like everything else, it evolves over time. The talent that made it back in the ’90s is much better today. Training is better, technology is better so the dancing is better.
“The expectations are higher. The choreography is much more intricate. Now instead of just one style, we are trying to do a jazz routine, then a hip-hop routine then a fun-character routine.
“We never had a calendar back in 2004 or 2005, so we introduced the calendar into it which is a huge promotion for us.
“We never had a camp called Drill Bits back in the beginning where little girls can come to the dance camp. The whole program has really evolved.”
But the hard work pays off. She’s been apart of the two NLL Championship games in 2004 and 2009, and the Drill Crew was named MLN Sports Major Attitude Dance Team of 2010.
“You wanted to be the best team in the league, the best in the city, the best across North America. You strive for that.”