Dance and cheer teams prepare for upcoming season

Home Sports Dance and cheer teams prepare for upcoming season

A-mila West
The Corsair

Efforts are still under way to recruit more members for the cheer and dance squad that will support this season’s Pensacola State College men and women’s basketball teams.

Coach LaRita Carter has held four auditions since the beginning of fall semester to search for talent. While currently there are only six women on the cheer squad and seven on the dance team, “I can have a team like that. More is not necessarily better. I’m looking for quality instead of quantity,” said the cheer and dance coordinator.

Requirements for the team and the advanced skills needed may be reasons why more students are not attending the tryouts, Carter said.

Members are required to have previous experience in cheer, including tumbling and standing backhand springing. The dance portion of the team requires students who are able to dance to jazz and hip-hop or either.

“Sometimes I take one or the other as far as the dancer coming … and that’s fine,” said Carter. “I have to see something there that I can teach.”
The necessary time commitment and the need for many students to work also may cut down on participation, the coach said.

Cheer and dance practice is three times weekly and team members must also exercise outside of practice along with attending the games.

Although commitment is essential, participating on the dance or cheer team offers different opportunities. In addition to attaining a scholarship, students have the chance to meet new people and learn new things.

“I don’t know anybody,” said freshman tryout Alexandria Bryant. “I don’t have any family here and I would just get to meet new people and not have to be by myself all the time.”

Said cheerleading sophomore Kelsey Fijalkowski: “I feel like it offers me an opportunity to really be a leader and show my school spirit.”

“The team’s goal is to amuse the audience and provide school spirit,” Carter said.

The season opener is Nov. 4 when the men’s basketball team will play against Faulkner State Community College. During home basketball games dance and cheer teams perform during halftime and timeouts with routines lasting between one to two minutes.

On Nov. 5, the cheer team will participate in the Greater Gulf Coast Arts Festival in downtown Pensacola. They will perform three distinct dances.
“Everything starts the first weekend in November, so that weekend is a big thing for us,” Carter said.

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