Women dominate college dance teams, but in South Dakota, two men are defying the odds. Their teammates say when it comes to dancing and cheering, gender doesn't matter.
"Hopefully, we can continue defying these barriers and overcome. Boys aren't on that many dance teams in the country," USD Dance Team member Charles Gagby said.
Gagby and his counterpart, SDSU dancer Tommy Nguyen, are men in what is mostly a woman's world.
"It is a little odd to see men on the dance team. To see that one odd guy out, but for me, I just love dance and that's what my passion is," Nguyen said.
There are only a handful of men on college dance teams across the country, but it is gaining popularity. In two years at USD, Gagby is breaking barriers of his own.
"Last year, I was the first male on a dance team at a South Dakota college ever," Gagby said.
"We have Charles in everything. Our sidelines; our halftime routines. He's not just in certain things. It's awesome that he can dance with us throughout everything," USD dance team captain Briana Johnston said.
As both teams dance, they say it doesn't matter whether you're a male or female, it just matters that you have the passion to break it down and dance.
"I think it's important for equal opportunity and we definitely don't discourage any gender or race. We are open to anyone or anything as long as you have the ability and the passion, we'd love to have you," SDSU Head Dance Coach Christie Madsen said.
Both Gagby and Nguyen say teasing comes with the territory, but they don't let the negativity discourage them.
"People say stuff but it's like, 'Okay, you try it and see,'" Gagby said.
"Teased. 'Twinkle toes,' whatever. But I can do a pirouette; I can do a triple pirouette. I can do a fourette. I'd like to see a football man try to do that," Nguyen said.
The teams at both schools say they welcome more men to try out for the team. Both teams are preparing for the national dance competition next month in Daytona Beach, Florida. This will be the first time each dance team will go head-to-head in a dance competition.