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  • Writer's pictureEast Spotlight Newspaper

Poms Team Takes on Nationals

This March, East High’s Poms Dance team will be attending the National Dance Alliance Competition in Orlando Florida. This is the first time East Poms will be competing nationally since before the pandemic with a new team and head coach. With only four returners on the team this year, the Poms team is trying to establish a reputation as a competitive hip-hop team once again following their finalling at nationals in 2020. This year the team has competed at 3 regional competitions and placed 12th at State. While that may not seem like a great feat, East was amongst the top dance teams in the state and qualified in two categories to compete nationally (Poms and hip hop).  

Coach Angelina Morell will be leading the team for her second year as coach and comments that she is most excited “to see all the hard work that everyone on the team has put in to get where we are. It has been four years since East has attended nationals and I decided to take the team because the determination coming up to state was impressive. Although many of the girls have not competed in dance prior to this year, with all of the talent, I thought we should go to show what East is about.” Coach Morell further explained that the competition is not only a chance to place but for the school to be highlighted. She says “the competition is held in a huge hotel with over 100 teams ranging from intermediate to varsity, in small, medium, and large categories.  If we place we will win a trophy, banner, and national title. NDA is also judged by the best dance judges in the nation and the feedback is amazing.” For most East angels it is impossible to get there but the entire competition will be broadcasted on Varsity TV. East will be competing in the hip-hop and Poms categories performing two days in a row. 

While the Poms dancers are at every home football and basketball game, and perform at pep rallies there is little recognition for the sport. So leading up to this competition what should East students know about Poms? Senior Captain Vicky Erazo comments that one thing she wishes people knew about Poms is “ How much work we put into these dances, it takes dedication, exhaustion, and workouts. We practice year-round and practice multiple times a week but are not seen as athletes. We have worked out with Boys Baseball, Girls Soccer, and Boys Swim but many don’t know.” Vicky says she just wants people to “see what we are capable of as strong women in the sports world because dance is a sport.” Poms training includes weight training once a week, 3 additional practices, choreography camps over the summer, technique practice for tricks and leaps, as well as 6:30 AM practices in the gym for games and competition. First-year sophomore member Jada Pulsipher corroborated saying, “Poms is not cheer, it is dance. It is a different sport and whenever I tell people I do poms they ask about cheer because of the pom poms. However, we are dancers and perform hip hop, it is different from what you would expect.” Poms dancers love their sport and art form and want the East community to appreciate dance as well. Next basketball game be sure to stay for halftime to watch the team shine and tune in online for Nationals! 

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