Senior Baely Rowe has always been told that she was an old soul. She loves listening to older music — from artists like Michael Jackson and Prince — so much, she choreographed her beam and floor routines to their music.
When Rowe is in the Huntsman Center, her throwback songs start on the beam with her performance choreographed to one of Jackson’s most famous songs, “Man in the Mirror.” Rowe idolizes Jackson’s moves, going so far as to incorporate one of the more iconic ones into her beam routine.
Rowe explained that Jackson was a great performer during his time — had great dance moves, music and rhythm when he performed on stage — and it brought her to do the moonwalk on the beam.
For her last time performing in the Huntsman Center on Saturday, March 3, the crowd honored Rowe during Senior Night with the Stars as fans were given light-up Jackson style gloves to wear during her beam routine.
So when she hit that iconic move, not only did the fans hold their gloves up high, they also cheered loudly for her, and Rowe said there was nothing better than that incredible feeling.
“That amazing fan base is something that a lot of people aren’t going to get when they are in college,” Rowe said. “They don’t get the feeling of competing in front of 15,000-plus fans. It’s amazing, and it’s something that I’m honored to be a part of.”
Fortunately, the throwbacks didn’t stop there. Fans not only got to reminisce in Jackson’s music, they also got to watch Rowe perform to another music icon as she took on her floor routine.
“With Prince, he was kind of like Michael Jackson,” Rowe said. “Prince had a groove and was always dancing, and he was a fun musician. That’s what brought me to my floor routine.”
On her last night, Rowe had some of her best performances. She scored a 9.9, a season best, on vault, and she recorded a decent score on beam with a 9.875, despite some balance checks. When she hit the floor, she gave her fans a proper sendoff when she scored a 9.975, and she tied with freshman MyKayla Skinner for all-around with a 39.65, receiving a career best.
“It was Baely’s last night, and it’s sad, but I’m so glad I got to be with her for a year this season,” Skinner said. “She went out there and shined tonight.”
Knowing it was her last time on the Huntsman floor, Rowe had to keep her emotions in check so she could play with the crowd one last time. Co-head coach Tom Farden said that Rowe was focused, and she didn’t let anything get to her head, or her heart for that matter.
“Baely was in her zone, and she has been able to not let the emotions of this Senior Night get to her,” said Farden. “[Co-head coach Megan Marsden and I] are so proud of her.”