Dancing her way into the hearts of many, Evie Ann Owen has always been revered by those around her. We attended middle school together many years ago and even then it was evident that Evie Ann was destined for greatness. Upon interviewing her, it was actually the first time we’d been in contact since probably 7th or 8th grade at Heritage Middle School in Georgia. Following middle school, at some point we each transferred to different schools, Evie Ann leaving for Alabama, and I for Tennessee. Despite the 6 year gap when we talked again, I realized she hasn’t changed one bit. To this day, Evie Ann is easily one of the kindest, most sincere, and intelligent people I’ve ever come to befriend. In honor of SEC football beginning this past weekend, it's only fitting to present a special interview featuring one of Auburn's finest— the elegant dancer Evie Ann Owen.
Introducing Evie Ann Owen
My name's Evie Ann Owen. I grew up in Chickamauga, Georgia, but I moved to Auburn in the 10th grade. I really love it here! I didn't think I was going to like it that much when I moved just because I was so used to a really small town, but when I got here, I fell in love with it. After that, I still wasn't sure about going to Auburn for school. Just because everybody that lives in Auburn goes to Auburn University. I was like: I don't know if that's what I want to do. But, I ended up touring and falling in love with it. Currently, my major here is Nutrition Sciences and I kind of want to go the PA route with that.
At some point, I decided to try out for Auburn’s dance team, which is called Tiger Paws. I knew I wanted to be involved with dance in college, just because I've spent most of my life doing it and I knew that I wanted to be involved with dance at the next level. I didn’t want to waste all that time and effort especially since I just love it so much. I tried out for the team in March of my senior year of high school and I was so nervous. I was kind of planning to base my decision on whether I went to Auburn or not on if I made the team. At the time, I was also looking at Clemson, College of Charleston and Tulane, as well as their dance teams, but Auburn had the first tryout. So, I said, “Okay, I'm gonna try this.” I was thinking, “Hopefully I'll make it and be able to go here,” because I really wanted to go to Auburn the most. Then, I got the news that I made it! It was amazing!! I was so excited. I actually just tried out again this year and made it, so my journey has been really great so far!
College Football’s Biggest Rivalry—The Iron Bowl
The Iron Bowl was amazing! Gameday is usually a longer day for us. Last year we started off with tailgating 4 hours before the game. We tailgated with the team and our families, which was really fun and then we went to various events around Auburn. Following that we basically did some cheers and then took pictures around campus. After that we did spirit march, which is especially cool during the Iron Bowl - partially just because of the sheer amount of people there. We were in the center of an intersection and we danced while the band was playing. Everybody was there. The cheerleaders are there, Aubie's there (Auburn's Mascot), and the fans are spread out all over the place.
It was insane at the Iron Bowl just because of how many people attended. After spirit march we did Tiger Walk, which is probably one of my favorite things to do. It was basically us walking through and saying hi to fans with the football players following after us. When we got to the end of the Tiger Walk, we got to cheer on the football players as they're coming through, which is really cool to see. They're so focused mentally on the game ahead of them and zoning everything out as they walk through. You get to see that, before they even arrive at the stadium for the game, and then later you see them running out onto the field and you can just feel the intensity. The last thing we did was warm up in our locker room and then we go out onto the field for our pregame activities.
I think one of the big things with the Iron Bowl is just the fans. It's hard to describe it. Everybody is there - and there is an energy. You feel it and you’re so hyped up the whole entire time! There's not a moment in the game that you're not super excited. Last season during the Iron Bowl, the weather was great, too. Especially because it can be so hot on the field sometimes. I remember during the first two games of the season we were just drenched in sweat and we could hardly breathe most of the time. But for last year’s Iron Bowl, there was perfect weather and an even better game.
It's really cool to see how invested we got into the game throughout the season. During the games we're really paying close attention: I know so much more about football now than I did a year ago just because I'm watching the game. You kind of have to know, when to do certain cheers. My train of thought was "this is an offense cheer when this happens" and different things like that. I think going back to the energy part, it was so crazy sometimes. Especially when there‘s a great game and everybody from the stands rushes the field. It was insane a lot of the time because our coach was trying to keep us out of the way so we wouldn't get hurt. By the end of the Iron Bowl people are full of energy and are rushing the field, jumping over the hedges and even getting stuck. We were just sitting there like, oh my gosh! It's amazing to see that; to be in the middle of everything; and to see how happy the football players were. It really was. I wouldn't trade it for anything: That experience was so cool. The Iron Bowl was my favorite thing for sure!
The SEC’s Grandest Stage
RIchmond: When you were younger did you ever imagine you'd be here performing on this stage?
Evie Ann: I think I wanted to be a professional dancer when I was little, but I don't know. I think I didn't realize that in college you could do this. It's a relatively new thing for Auburn, too. I think the dance team was actually first allowed on the football field in the mid 90’s. By the time I was in high school, I knew that I definitely wanted to do dance. When I was little, I think I only ever really thought about me being in high school and dancing in front of a crowd. That was probably my main goal because I saw my sister doing it. I knew I wanted to do that, but I think for college: I don't know if I ever saw myself here until maybe I was in high school.
I’ve thought about trying out for a professional dance team, but I 'm not really sure. I kind of would like to see how the PA stuff works out because that's two more years of school. If I could, I would love to balance doing that and then joining a professional dance team. My mom has always wanted me to try out for the Dallas Cowboy's team. I don't know if I could ever do that, but that would be really cool. My old coach danced for the Atlanta Hawks, so I think that would be neat. Right now, it's really hard to balance schoolwork and dance, but it's working out well. I'm just not sure how much time I will have to dance, if I go the PA school route. Hopefully I'll have plenty, because I'd love to drag out my dance career as long as I can! I guess we will see!!
"I think a lot of a sport is just about how much you like it. If I didn't love dance, I don’t think that I would have gone to all the practices when I was younger. It’s about commitment. I was fortunate to be able to know that I wanted to do this more than anything else. So it's really about that commitment and just knowing that you can get to this point. It’s so worth it. For a lot of people, it's easy to give up on situations because you don't know where it's going to lead. But I am so glad that I was able to stick with it and find out that I could end up where I am right now. Hopefully, I'll get somewhere else after college with it, too."
"Senior year, before I went to Auburn, my parents moved to Germany. That was tough, just because they haven't been here through a lot of stuff. It kind of felt like I was an out-of-state student even though I went to high school in Auburn just because my parents were across the ocean. It's been kind of hard dealing with things in college that I just want to call them about, but they have a seven-hour time difference. So even though it’s been difficult, I think it's been nice in that I've been able to handle stuff by myself and learn how to be independent, because I was really reliant on them in high school."