New jazz routine sets poms team up for great season

This winter marks the beginning of the competition season for the varsity poms team. Having just finished performing their routines during the football season, the team recently held tryouts for the competition team.

With the new team set, the girls will look to represent BG in various upcoming competitions. Head coach Allison Parker is very optimistic about the new season.

“When we held our tryouts, I knew we would have a good team,” Parker said. “Our team is led by three very strong seniors who do a great job being role models for the younger members.”

The team is led by senior captains Ashley Whitefield, Taylor Harris and Alyssa Lee. Whitefield and Lee are both four–year members and Harris is in her third year. The seniors are now heading into the new season with a sense of optimism.

“The strong level of commitment and determination is much higher than last year,” Whitefield said. “Our drive to be the best we can be is much stronger as well.”

During the football season, the poms team is considered a club and is not recognized as an official IHSA sport. However, after the football players retire for the year, the poms team becomes a competitive dance team, which is an official IHSA sport.

You can find the team practicing their routine about five times a week.  According to Parker, an average practice will consist of conditioning, stretching and a senior led run–through of the routine.

New this year is the transition from being in Division 3A last year to competing in Division 2A. The school’s population has had decreased to a point where the team had to move divisions to make it fair. High expectations are already set for the team as well. According to coach Parker, the team’s expectation is to put in 110 percent at every competition and, ultimately, make it to State.

As the competition season begins many members of the team, including Whitefield are very excited. This gives the team the opprotunity to compete with some of the best dance teams in the state, in many different routines.

“I love competition season so much more than football season,” Whitefield said. “We get to perform more and we get to do different styles of dance.”

The team will look to use that excitement to its advantage as it participates in their first invite of the season this upcoming Saturday. The team will participate in the Fremd Invitational with many other schools also looking to get their season off to a good start.

Lee, one of the team captains, finds a thrill in her senior year starting with more opportunities than prior years.

“This is our first year performing two routines as an official IHSA sport,” Lee said. “We want to execute each dance effectively and show the judges how dedicated we are.”

The three seniors of the team are looking to lead their team to a successful year after choreographing their own dances for the team to use in competitions. New this year is the addition of a jazz themed routine.

“I’m really looking forward to performing our jazz routine that the other seniors and I choreographed ourselves,” Lee said. “The possibility of of our routine making it all the way to State is so exciting.”