The cheer and dance teams look to improve in their inaugural season

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The cheer and dance teams look to improve in their inaugural season

Victoria Hedin

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The competitive cheer and dance teams have had a rough start since their season started this past August.

Head coach Rickey Hill acknowledged the difficulty of building a new program.

“It’s been very challenging, and a lot of members quit during the season for various reasons. There were a couple that stuck it out, and it ended up being a good situation for everybody. We started from the bottom by learning basic skills,” Hill said.

Their biggest obstacle occurred only a week before the teams were scheduled to leave for their first competition.

One dancer hyper-extended her elbow, which took her out of the competition. With one fewer person, Hill said that they had to re-work the routine to accommodate this gap and some members even had to learn new skills.

Both teams have improved tremendously since the start of the season, placing first in their competition over the weekend.

“No one expected them to be as good as they are because it’s a first year program and they’re so young. It’s really amazing to see what these kids have done. We’ve had so much support from the athletic directors and the coaching team, especially assistant coach Rachel (Turner),” Hill said.

The next competition for the cheer team will be at the end of February at regionals for the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics in Oklahoma.

However, the dance team will no longer be competing this year due to scheduling conflicts with the NAIA, but Hill said they will be returning next year with stronger numbers.

Finance junior and dance team member Monica Fisher said that competitions are exciting because it’s something that they are passionate about and all love to do.

Both teams have their own unique qualities and abilities, as well as some serious talent.

“What makes the dance team special is that they’re a smaller group so they’ve gotten to know each other more personally. As for the cheer team, they’re all freshmen. They’re all so young but are doing so well,” Hill said.

Hill said this competition season will be exciting because all the members have a strong drive that makes them push one another to never give up.

“We want to finish the season as injury-free as possible and do some fundraising and community service. I also want the teams to improve on the skills they already have,” Hill said.

While the team experienced some struggles early on, Hill is pleased with the progress they made so far.

“They’ve accomplished more than I ever thought they would from the first day that I met them, and it’s a really great feeling,”
Hill said.