Varsity Poms kicks off homecoming
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The lights dimmed, the spotlights shone, and the music blasted from the stereo. A collective hush resounded over the crowd, and all eyes were drawn to the mass of sparkly pom-poms illuminating the gym. Immediately after the first pose was struck, an excited whisper filled the gym, and in a flash of red, black, and silver, the varsity poms team commenced homecoming week with its performance on Friday, Sept. 20 at the school pep rally.
Led by senior captains Rachel Thompson, Olivia Parillo, and Brynn Kuhlman, the pommers performed a one minute, 30 seconds routine with the cheer team that prompted the crowd to erupt in applause. This varsity poms performance kicked off homecoming week, but the excitement will be enhanced this coming Friday, Sept. 27, when the pommers perform their full four-minute routine, complete with designed lights and new choreography.
“The captains have done an amazing job creating innovational routines that are really fun to perform,” said Audrey Giltner, junior on varsity poms.
In order to nail the new moves, the varsity poms added additional practices to their schedule in the weeks leading up to homecoming. Usually, their practices are on Mondays and Wednesdays from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., but practices were added each day of the school week to prepare for their big homecoming performances, including morning and night practices.
“It can get pretty exhausting, but it’s super rewarding,” Giltner said. “[These practices] allow the team to make sure we feel comfortable in the environment we will be performing in.”
The captains aimed to create new, fresh choreography to showcase the diverse talents of the Pommers. The performance also includes a fresh playlist of songs, special lighting, and of course, the beloved kick line.
“The kickline is a favorite for many but we are also trying to include more of a variety in styles for our routine this year,” Thompson said.
The addition of practices and updated choreography were not the only changes introduced to the poms team in light of homecoming week. The energy of the team increased dramatically over the weeks leading to homecoming, and the excitement and exhilaration of the pommers became tangible as they looked forward to their special performances.
“This is by far everyone’s favorite performance, and it really shows during practice,” Thompson said. “As the pep rally gets closer, you can really feel the excitement building among the team.”
The varsity team wasn’t the only team to experience an increase in practices, stress, and excitement. The junior varsity team also added morning and night practices in addition to their regularly scheduled practices on Tuesdays and Thursdays to prepare.
“We dance with varsity during halftime of the homecoming game,” said Olivia Costello, freshman on JV Poms. “We added practices to make sure we are perfect and have our dances down well.”
When asked of their favorite part about being on the poms team, pommers voiced a common love of the camaraderie and teamwork established from spending so much time together.
“I really love all of the amazing people I have met through poms,” Thompson said. “We really enjoy the time we spend together during practice, on the field, or even just on the sidelines.”
The welcoming, tight-knit atmosphere of the girls on the poms team is another reason why the pommers enjoy their sport so much.
“The vibe is so encouraging, and all the pommers are very supportive of each other,” Giltner said. “As a new part of the team, they’ve made me feel like I’ve been dancing with them for years.”
The next varsity poms performances are on Friday, Sept. 27 during the pep assembly and at the homecoming football game at 7:00 p.m., and Saturday, Sept. 28 at 9:30 a.m. at the homecoming parade.
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