Communication major Mattie Motz has been named captain of the Raiderettes dance team for the second year in a row.
Being a Communication major with a concentration in Social Media and Public Engagement has greatly benefitted Mattie in her leadership of the team. Not only is she team captain, but her work in the SMPE concentration has taught her how to manage social media for the Raiderettes. She frequently uses techniques she learned at SOU when promoting events and to gain followers for the team. Additionally, Mattie said her studies in communication have taught her how to communicate effectively verbally and nonverbally with her team members and coaches. Alongside Mattie, there are three other dancers on the team studying Communication. “I think a reason why so many Comm majors are drawn to the dance team is because both things involve working with people,” Mattie said. “A lot of times we end up using the skills and lessons that we’ve learned in our classes to help us deal with conflicts or interact with each other in the best way possible.” In addition to her Communication degree, Mattie is minoring in Business Administration with a Certificate in Interactive Marketing and E-Commerce.
Dancing has always been a form of self-expression and stress-relief for Mattie. She began dancing at five years old, and continued through high school. When she came to SOU, she worried she would not have the opportunity to continue dancing, as there was not yet an established dance team. However, by the end of her freshman year it was announced that they were creating a brand-new team. “I knew I had to try out,” she said. Mattie was one of the very first members of the SOU Raiderettes, and two years later became the captain. “Seeing the transformation from where we started to where we are now has been crazy. But even at our very first tryouts, I knew that this team and experience was going to be something special.” Mattie stated.
It is now Mattie’s senior year at SOU. “My experience as captain has been amazing! It’s honestly one of the most gratifying feelings,” Mattie said. However, being the captain of the team has been challenging. “There have been a good amount of late nights, early mornings, all-nighters, and spending days in the library just to get everything done,” Mattie said. However, instead of letting the stress weigh her down, she has taken it as a learning experience. The experience has taught her a lot about time management, conflict resolution, leadership, and even communication. “Being captain is a big honor, and it’s something I definitely don’t take for granted.”
As Mattie is preparing to graduate, she has started to plan for the future. When asked how she planned to use her Communication degree in the future, Mattie said “I would love to go into event planning or social media management and work for a company that’ll allow me to travel for work. And if things really work out, perhaps even start my own business in the future one day! But no matter what, I think I’ll be using my Communication Studies in everyday life and interactions.”