CMU Raasta, based at Carnegie Mellon University, was established in November 2011, by four freshmen who individually dreamed of starting a raas team before attending CMU. They all met during orientation week and decided to make it happen. After countless meetings with other student organizations, these freshmen finally created a very unique and talented team.
How do you recruit new members/hold auditions?
We mainly recruit dancers through Fall tryouts and various info sessions.
How do you approach training freshman and incorporating them into your team's culture?
In order to train freshmen, we hold a boot camp during the first two weeks of practice to familiarize the new members with moves. Incorporating them into the team's culture happens all throughout the year, starting from our first recruiting event. We try to connect with each and every freshmen outside of practice by making late night taco bell runs, having social events, etc.
What are your goals for the upcoming season?
Our goals for the upcoming season are to bring in a new set of freshmen and have them become a part of the family, while maintaining the legacy of CMU Raasta set by previous years.
What do you think are the biggest challenges within your circuit?
The biggest challenges within the raas circuit are getting recognition as a new team and doing something big and different. Each year, we have to create a new, creative piece along with incorporating a unique theme.
What do you like most about your team/teammates?
Everyone on the team is so supportive of one another, whether it is on or off the stage. Even when we do not have practices, or performances, everyone on the team is willing to step in and help out other teammates, when and if necessary. The team dynamic is incredible. When we are with one another, it does not really feel like a team, it feels more like a family.
What do you enjoy most about your team?
The passion and fun-loving personality of the team, as a whole. Although we would ideally like to win and do well during our season, the ultimate goal of being on this team is to have fun and to love what you do. Throughout the season, every single one of the team members have come to display just that - the passion. At the end of the day, we really love what we do, and we love the people we do it with.
What makes your team different from other teams in the circuit?
Again, definitely the team dynamic. As we mentioned before, the team has become so close over the years, it doesn't even feel like a team anymore. It feels like a family.
Are there any traditions your team has?
Our team traditions include pre-comp performance pump ups, initiation, secret santa potlucks, end of the year spring soiree event.
What are your team chants?
We do not have one yet.
Which performance is your team most proud of?
The performance our team is most proud of is Raas All-Stars 2016
Have there been any defining moments or particularly memorable moments for your team?
We have had three particularly memorable moments in our teams history: Getting into our first competition in 2013, SurvivoRaas, winning our first competition in 2015, Dandia Dhamaka, and winning the Raas All Stars National Championship in 2016.
Please list 3 random/interesting facts about the team.
- We are the first team to win Nationals with 14 dancers.
- About half of our team are newbies.
- Raas is a North Indian dance form, but most of our members are from South India.