Cheer and Dance teams take on the new year

September 19, 2015 — by Gwynevere Hunger and Michelle Lee

At the first rally on Sept. 11, the cheer and dance teams officially kicked off their 2015-16 season with their appearance.

At the first rally on Sept. 11, the cheer and dance teams officially kicked off their 2015-16 season with their appearance.

The cheer team’s performance included stunts such as basket tosses and full downs to “Pump It” by The Black Eyed Peas. 

“We’ve been working on our stunts and other skills incorporated in the routine since May and June, but we had only two days to learn the entire routine,” sophomore Althea Zhao said.

The routine style was altered with different formations and choreography from last year by Dominique Davidson, the team’s returning coach.

During the cheer team’s annual elite USA summer camp held at UC Santa Cruz, new members learned the basic stunts and jumps while veterans took on longer chants and harder tricks. In the end, the team of 19 put together a routine for a final evaluation, during which they were judged on accuracy and energy, earning them the highest level ribbons and a “most improved” recognition.

“Our work during the summer really paid off,” Zhao said.

Like cheer, the dance team is off to a promising start, especially considering that the team has few veteran dancers, with only three of the 11 members carried over from last year. At the same time, 11 members is the most the team has had.

At the first rally and football game, the dance team performed a fast hip-hop routine to Nicki Minaj’s song “I’m Legit.”

“Every single member of the team worked hard during the summer and the start of school to prep for the rally,” senior Jenna Chen said. “The whole team wanted to do well for our first school performance. ”

Despite the lack of experienced dancers, dance team leads, called officers, have high hopes for the season.

“We have [many] new members this year, so I’m excited to see how we can all grow our dance skills together,” Chen said.

Practices started the first week of summer break. As in previous years, the team attended two elite dance camps hosted by United Spirit Association at Lincoln High School and the UC Santa Cruz held in the summer.

Once the school year started, extra practices were added to the team's schedule so that the team could finish learning the choreography for this year’s dances. Under the leadership of coach Kaitlyn Landeza and adviser

Julia Peck, the team has learned a record high of eight competition dances this year for its four competitions held second semester.

Competition dances have been scripted by outside choreographers and include team dances in the x-small lyrical, small contemporary, hip-hop, jazz and lyrical categories as well as  two individual solos for the springtime competition season.

“Our ultimate goal as a team is to place in our upcoming competitions and work our way up to Nationals,” Chen said. 

3 views this week