Feb. 2 marked the annual poms counties competition, held at Montgomery Blair School Silver Spring, and is by far the poms biggest competition of the year.
Poms competed in division two along with Richard Montgomery, Northwood, Bethesda Chevy Chase, Whitman, Northwest, Albert Einstein and rival Winston Churchill. Overall the team placed sixth out of nine and senior captain Caroline Gastwirth placed fourth out of nine for captain’s solo.
Junior captains Sami Haendler and Brooke Simon, along with senior captain Caroline Gastwirth, created the dances performed at each event. The preparation process for the events involved a lot of patience, sweat and time. The poms practiced hard every day after school and performed at the home football games and pep rallies. With 18 people on the team, each person was responsible for memorizing and practicing the dance to achieve a flawless end product seen at school events. “My first year on poms was really fun and such a good experience I enjoyed football season and competition season a lot. Competition season was stressful at times but overall poms is amazing and I have made so many great friends,” freshman Jenna Siman said.
Poms season is from August to February and practice takes place every day after school for two hours. Tryouts were held during the summer and are intense due to the vast competition for the limited number of spots available. “I was able to do what I love with an amazing team every day,” freshman Amanda Slud said.
Arts teacher Keith Schwarz is one of this year’s poms coaches, along with technology education teacher Lindsay Roberts. “My favorite thing about coaching the poms is getting to know more students throughout the school because a lot of them I didn’t know before this year,” Schwarz said.
The theme for this year’s poms counties competition was blackout, where everyone shows up in all black apparel in support for the poms team. Their dance included many songs from the popular The Greatest Showman soundtrack and a few songs from the television show Glee. The captains put together the remixes for the songs and choreograph the dance.
At every poms competition there is a captain’s solo portion where one of the three captains perform a short solo competing for the captain’s award. In their short solo they demonstrate skills and technique. Gastwirth performed her captain’s solo at this year’s counties competition. “My last competition was extremely bittersweet. Poms has given me 34 of my closest friends and fondest memories over four years and I was sad to see it go but also extremely proud of my girls,” Gastwirth said.