Pom squad adds new members


Emily Kruse

Senior Zuzu Melchor prepares for practice on Nov. 8 after joining the team following October tryouts. While this is Melchor’s first year on the pom team, she has several previous years of dance experience. “It’s super fun being on the team, not only because of the dancing, but also the people,” Melchor said. “I mostly do contemporary dance, so pom is very different than what I’m used to, but that’s what’s so fun about it.”

By Zora Lotton-Barker, Staff Writer

New pom members must have a lot of qualities in order to mesh well with their teammates.

The pom team held tryouts on Oct. 18 in order to fill two spots on the team. Tryouts are usually held in March, and the team can have anywhere from six to 10 members.

Captain Alyssa Waller said there are a lot of things one can do in order to be prepared for auditions, but technique is the hardest thing to learn.

“The hardest thing to learn is technique, because all that you can do to improve is practice and you’re not going to get it in a week, you’re not going to get it in a few weeks. It takes years of practice to have a solid foundation,” she said. “People who come and try out for pom… they can be really good at dancing, but if they don’t have that solid technique, it’s really hard to improve on that in a short amount of time.”

The pom team does lots of different styles of dance that a new recruit would need to be proficient in.

“We do different styles, I would say we do about four styles of dance…If you only had experience in one style, I think it would be really hard to adjust,” Waller said.

For a new pom members to fit in, according to junior Emi Neilson, they need to have a good personality.

“ I think they would need a happy personality because a lot of times for pom we have to be smiling and looking pleasant because we are performing, and if it doesn’t come naturally to you it would be hard to be happy and peppy all the time,” Neilson said.

Jordan Contreras’s favorite part of taking on new team members is getting to know them.

“I love getting to make new friends and getting to show them new steps and routines,” Contreras said.

Neilson said the best part of having a larger team is it means cooler stunts and visuals.

“With more people on the team you can do cooler visuals,” Neilson said. “I also think that it’s more fun with more people on the spirit squad because it’s really like a family just because we spend so much time together.”

During pom tryouts, the potential new recruits had to learn several different types of dance, as well as one or two of the sideline chants that the cheer and pom squad preform at the game. Luckily for them, the team members were there to help them learn steps and routines.

“So, they come in, they stretch, they learn the new routines that had pom, jazz and hip hop sections in them, and then they had to learn the sidelines that we do at games,” Contreras explained. “They also had to do a technique section, but all they had to do was go across the floor and did turns and leaps and stuff… Normally we don’t help out, but this time we just helped them out during the audition. We learned the dance with them and helped to coach them if they needed it.

Alyssa Waller agrees, and says making new friendships is the best thing about pom.

“Getting to become friends with the new people, getting close with them and spending time with them is honestly the best part of pom,” Waller said. “…it’s those friendships that you remember.”