What it takes to become a pommer


courtesy of Allison Schaefer

The pommers pose for a picture before the start of the football season in their devils uniforms, but for performances they wear a shiny black outfit.

Most students look forward to the halftime performances when the Poms Dance Team entertain and showcase their hard work. While the routines may look natural, many dancers on the team would tell anyone just how difficult the practices are. 

The pommers practice two times a week regularly but when a game is on its way or it’s homecoming week they kick it into full gear. If there is a game, they have their usual practices Mondays and Wednesdays from 3:30-5:30 p.m. and the day of the game they have to wake up early and be on the football field at 6 a.m. to practice their routine one last time.

When it comes to homecoming week and preparing for the pep rally, which is their biggest performance of the season, they practice the three nights leading up to the big day for three hours (7 p.m.- 10 p.m.) to make sure it looks perfect.

On the morning of the pep rally, the dancers also get to school at 6 a.m., but this time they also watch and support their cheerleader friends as well as perform their own routine for them in exchange.

“After all of that practice it is worth it after we perform,” said Allison Schaefer, senior.

Varsity poms Coach, Katie Maley, says that homecoming week is definitely the week she looks forward to the most because of the excitement, but also the hard work and focus the pommers need to have to nail their halftime performance.

The pep rally performance runs about three and a half minutes while their normal performances for varsity football or basketball games are only about a minute and a half, so it is also noticeably their longest performance of the season.

“I really love varsity because our team is pretty much the same as it was my freshman year so we have been able to get really close and we have become a really well bonded team,” said Sarah Zidell, junior. “Varsity is definitely more exciting than JV because we get to perform in front of a lot of our peers during pep rallies and home games.”    

Varsity pommers are role models for the younger girls on junior varsity poms. Each girl on the junior varsity poms team is given a girl from varsity that helps them adjust to being on poms and makes poms more enjoyable. The junior varsity girls refer to the Varsity girls as their big sisters. They encourage them to do their best, often giving them a card and candy before their performances.

Coach Maley says that dancers on poms have to be dedicated, hard working, do well under pressure in the spotlight, and work well with others, among other things. Schaefer says that her time on poms has made her more confident and outgoing.