Students from Dean College participated as on-field performers in the 2017 NFL opening pregame celebration on Thursday, September 7, 2017 at Gillette Stadium. Dean Colleged announced that the following local students participated in the performance.
Best experience ever; Indescribable; Truly special; Once-in-a-lifetime opportunity - these are just a few words that Dean College students are using to describe their experience as on-field performers in Thursday's NFL pregame celebration at Gillette Stadium.
Over two hundred Dean College students, including Arts and Entertainment Management (AMGT), Business, Dance and Sport Management majors, participated as stunt card group members, banner holders and dance performers as the New England Patriots faced the Kansas City Chiefs in the NFL opener.
This is the second opportunity for Dean College to participate, having previously performed in the NFL pregame celebration in September 2015.
It was unequivocally sweet for those students who performed for their second time.
"This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I had the opportunity to experience twice," said AMGT major Pat Budris '19. "When we ran out to the field, you could feel the electric in the air. The crowd was roaring; it was incredible."
Jaclyn O'Keefe '18 also participated in the 2015 performance and shared the same sentiments. "Never in a million years would I think that I'd be able to participate in the Patriots NFL Kickoff not only once, but two times! My two experiences were different, but both indescribable."
Sport Management major Dean Bennett '18 was part of the night's banner group, holding the 2017 Super Bowl banner with his peers at the 50-yard line. "This was my first experience participating in the event and holding the center banner was amazing. I was standing right next to Gronk (Rob Gronkowski) which made the experience even better."
Angeli Myatt '20 was thrilled to participate in the stunt card group. "Getting the opportunity to participate at the Patriots Kickoff is something I'll never forget. The energy on the field and in the stands brought such a wonderful and happy feeling. Definitely one of my most memorable nights!"
Even faculty members participated alongside students, including Associate Professor of Dance, Todd Shanks. "Exciting doesn't even begin to describe it," said Shanks. "Dancing side by side with my students and colleagues on the field, in front of over 60,000 fellow Patriots fans was incredible. Beyond the experience of the performance, it was great for all of us to be a part of such a large-scale production."
The night turned out to be a family affair for first year dance student Celine Santorsola '21, as she performed on the field alongside her sisters Adrena '19 and Leanne '16, current Patriots Cheerleaders. "It felt amazing to walk in my sisters' shoes for a nightI idolize them so much," said Santorsola. "If this is the beginning of my time at Dean, I can't wait to see what's next."
By the end of the night, students were able to experience first-hand what it takes to produce such a large-scale performance. In the upcoming weeks, students will receive an event debrief in the classroom to bring the learning experience full circle.
The opportunity was brought to life through The Center for Business, Entertainment and Sport Management at Dean College, a partnership with the Kraft Sports Group. For more information about Dean College, visit www.dean.edu. For more information on The Center for Business, Entertainment and Sport Management at Dean College, visit www.dean.edu/thecenter.