In their first competition on Jan. 7, the poms placed first out of six teams at the Damascus Invitational, and one of their captains, senior Alyssa Yi, also snagged the title of first place captain. Last year they also came in first multiple times, so finishing in first wasn’t a shock to the team. “I was impressed by the amount of talent they have, and it was clear they worked extremely hard,” junior Zack Lechner said.
The poms works hard throughout the school year, but their competition season doesn’t start until after winter break. Poms is strictly a dance team, but people tend to confuse their uniforms with cheerleading. Cheerleaders perform during football games, while poms performs during halftime of football and basketball games, at competitions and during other various events such as pep rallies.
Poms continue into the winter, while cheer did not this year. Each year, a select few poms, typically the captains, help the Woottonettes, the school’s all male dance team practice, who often perform in the spring. Other than those select few, the poms are off during the spring.
They practice multiple times after school each week, but their practice schedule fluctuates depending on what they have coming up. During competition season they practice every day after school, but they get one day off when it’s not the week leading up to a competition. “It’s really hard getting in practice time, especially when we can’t get the gym because the basketball team is practicing,” junior Grace Darby said.
In the weeks leading up to their competitions they all dress up wearing the same outfits for the entire week. Last week they wore onesies, dressed up as gymnasts, and dressed up as hippies. During the weeks where it is not competition season, they practice four days during the week.
The tryouts take place in the spring of the previous school year, and the team is announced in early June. “Having to try out as an eighth grader was really nerve wracking. It was terrifying having to train with the older girls, but now I consider them my best friends,” freshman Julia Bogart said.
Each year the team adds a few freshmen with various upperclassmen joining later in their high school careers to replace the seniors who graduate. “I was not a pom when I was a freshman, but when I made the team as a sophomore, I was so excited to join the team. It was such a welcoming atmosphere and I love being able to do what I love with my close friends,” junior Sophia Weinstein said.
They have the Northwest invitational on Jan. 14, which is too late to be covered in this issue.