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Poms will compete at nationals for first time

Emma Manukian, entertainment editor

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The poms competition team is BG’s competitive dance team consisting of 13 girls on varsity. The Bisonettes qualified for Nationals in Orlando, Florida over the summer when attending UDA (Universal Dance Association) camp at Northern Illinois University and plan to compete at Nationals on Feb. 2 and 3.

“At nationals, girls perform on a Friday and if they make it to the next round, the perform again on Sunday,” varsity poms coach, Allison Parker said. “This adds a little more pressure to the girls, but it is such an exciting way to conclude our season.”

Depending on how the competition season unfolds, the team will make their ultimate decisions on who will best represent BG and perform.

“Poms going to Nationals will be extremely beneficial for our team because everyone will be able to see the caliber of other teams and aspire to be like them and advance the program,” senior varsity captain Emily Jaszka said. “In addition, we represented BG as well as at the UDA summer intensive we received the super spirit stick out of all of the teams for our positivity and friendliness.”

As the competition day arrives, the team enters the mentality of competitiveness and spends time evaluating their components before taking the stage.

“Prior to performing, we get there two hours before and start applying our makeup,” Jaszka said. “In the warm up gym, we have time to stretch and practice our routine once with music before we go on deck to perform, but once we perform, we return back into our room to put on our warmup gear and watch others perform because watching helps us improve.”

The captains of the team, seniors, Jaska, Shannon Brennan and Erin Kleczynski strive to put in their best foot forward and push the team to make them qualify and place.

“As a captain, it’s my job to encourage our team and help us be ready to take the floor by using constructive criticism,” Kleczynski said. “Cleaning is also essential to perfecting the routine and it consists of us going through every motion in the routine with our team so everyone looks the same.”

The day of the competition can be rather hectic with teams arriving all over the United States, but the coach of varsity poms, Allison Parker is making sure the team works hard to accomplish their goals.

“During a competitive dance competition, teams from each division compete against one another in order to get feedback on their routines. BG competes in division 2A,” Parker said. “At the end of each competition places are announced and then all teams get their feedback from the judges.”

Having poms attend Nationals this year has been a big achievement marking the start of a new era to BG. This is Poms’ first time going to Nationals so they are uncertain what the end result will be if they win. It’s going to be mostly about the experience and being able to see other dance teams from across the United States.

According to Parker, there isn’t a specific reason why this is their first time going to nationals. They have consistently qualified for nationals every summer, but going this year will benefit most of the younger girls on the team.

“Nationals will be a very special learning opportunity for our team and I’m super excited for it and to represent us,” Kleczynski said.

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