Seaera Cole’s unrivaled passion for dance has motivated her to overcome rejection and share the stage with superstars Beyonce and Madonna. So I thought that when I met her she would have an attitude similar to that of a diva, but I was pleasantly surprised.
She explained to me that although the season was over she is still a full time student and could meet with me between classes. We decided we could conduct the interview on Southern’s Campus.
I expected to meet an over-dressed and over-confident young lady to enter the room. Instead I was greeted by the typical college student and to be more specific, college senior: comfortable jeans and t-shirt, a backpack filled with books and the ever popular look , on her face , of is “is it graduation yet?”. She was down to earth and I could relate to what she was going through as a Graduating Senior at Southern. I couldn’t judge a book by it’s cover because she entered the same room I tripped over my own feet entering, with the poise and swiftness of an athlete as she shook my hand and smiled before taking a seat. Those two factors had me asking one question: “How does the Captain of Southern’s Dancing Dolls end up sharing the Superbowl halftime show stage two years in a row with two of the most celebrated women in music?”
So I asked and she said to me:
“You will face a lot of rejection when you are pursuing something you have a passion for, but you have to keep a postive attitude, work hard and not let anyone tell you can’t accomplish your dream.” said Cole.
The development of that passion did not come over night for the 22year old Southern University Senior, whom, originally had hopes of becoming a track athlete.
It wasn’t until elementary school the New Orleans native’s grandmother enrolled her in a dance class. Cole recalls that although she had no dance experience and thought she discover another hobby. It was in that first class that Seara was able to discover the passion she had for dance.
“I always wanted to go to Southern and after I started taking dance classes I wanted to become a Dancing Doll.” said Cole.
Unfortunately, when the aspiring dancer tried out for the team her freshman year she didn’t make the cut.
“It was heartbreaking when I didn’t make it because it was something I wanted to for so long, but I knew I was not going to give up.” said Cole.
Cole said she knew this wouldn’t be the last time she tried out and would use this rejection as time to better her technique for the next time she would audition. Although she was not selected to become a Dancing Doll, she still danced competitively. As a member of Southern’s Gold n Bluez Dance Team, she also entrained audiences at basketball games and various on-campus events. This gave the determined Cole the chance to not only better dance technique, but also her stage presence.
During her sophomore year Cole auditioned to be a Dancing Doll for the second time and was selected to be part of the 2009-2010 squad. After finally making her dream a really, Cole quickly learned that maintaining that dream would require a lot of work.
Cole said that the Dancing Dolls spend a minimum of 25 hours a week rehearsing. Those rehearsals include: stretching, choreographing dance routines, rehearsing with the other Dolls, deciding on costumes and also collaborating performances with University’s marching band The Human Jukebox.
“When you’re a full-time student and Dancing Doll you don’t have time for much else, but when you are doing something you love understand the sacrifices being in the present will pay off in the future.” said Cole.
Cole’s hard work and dedication did pay off for her when she was elected captain during 2012-2013 season.
2012 was also the year one of the biggest pop stars in the world, Madonna, took notice of the team’s hard work and invited them to perform with her during her Superbowl halftime performance in Indianapolis. Cole said the pop star noticed of the team after seeing a video of the 2006 squad’s halftime performance on YouTube.
Cole said that prior to rehearsing in Indianapolis the team was also flown to New York to practice with Madonna herself, where not only did she sharpen her dance technique but was able to take away life lessons from the pop songstress.
“She is a business woman with a very strong work ethic, we rehearsed the show with her almost a million times until it was perfect. She inspired me to better my work ethic not only for myself but for my team as the captain.” said Cole.
Just when she reached the peak of her Dancing Doll career Cole and the rest of the squad were offered the chance to audition to be part of the 2013 Superbowl’s Halftime Show in New Orleans.
“Receiving another opportunity to dance at the Superbowl was surreal, but the fact that I had to audition this time only motivated me to worker harder and keep chasing my dreams.” said Cole.
After auditioning, Cole was chosen to be one of the 76 dancers that would join Beyoncé on stage for the Superbowl half time show. Although Cole was the only dancer on stage representing the current squad she did share the stage with former Dancing Doll, and a dancer she consider inspiration, Da’Tara Frank.
“ I was so happy to not only dance at the Superbowl for a second time but also took being given this opportunity as sign to not never give up on doing something I love” said Cole.
Cole said she learned that although Beyoncé and Madonna are two different women they have to two things in common success and a tremendous amount of drive and perseverance that helped achieve that high level.
“I love dancing and I don’t want to limit myself to just one type; I want to be able to have understanding of all dance techniques from hip hop to ballet” said Cole
After graduating in May with a Sociology degree she will acquire more training, sign with a talent agency and pursue career in dance. After all of the opportunities she has received and the ones expected to come in the future Cole said she has learned that through determination, perseverance and faith that any dream will turn into a reality.