Pom takes on UDA camp

Megan Lange
Pom members starting off camp last month. The girls spent 7 hours at camp working to perfect skills and routines.

Every year, the pom teams’ first week with its new members ends with a weekend-long camp. The camp works as a bonding experience for girls on the team but also works to drill and prepare them for the upcoming season. This camp took place at the school this year on August 29, one week after they had tryouts securing them their spots on the team. 

“The purpose of the camp is basically to learn half-time routines and how to be able to qualify for nationals,” junior, and second year pom member, Makenzi Lauritzen says about this year’s camp. 

The team has been doing camps like these for years, and this year, the one they did is run by the Universal Dance Association (UDA). Teachers that work for UDA help to teach the girls many different routines and skills that are needed for said routines. 

Senior and pom captain, Devon Knox explains how the team qualifies for nationals through the camp, saying, “Since [camp] was over zoom, we had to film one of the dances we learned and send it to UDA…so we could qualify.”

The team’s performance qualified them for the National Dance Team Competition which is in Florida. But after having 8 seniors last year, this year’s team has many new members, and while every member of the team has plenty of dance experience and technique, pom routines are very different from studio dance routines.

“Being coachable is important…we get girls from various dance backgrounds and we must get them to dance together…every girl needs to be able to make the adjustments and improvements the coaching staff asks of her,” says head coach Tenneal Howard about the new pom members. 

The camp they experienced works to help teach the girls exactly what needs to be done and exactly how to do it. They work through many drills and practice a lot of short combos as a way to help them get a better feeling of how they should be performing. 

“Basically the performances everyone watches during half-time at football and basketball games come from that camp,” says Lauritzen, adding, “when it comes down to it [though], that camp is super important for us when it comes to team bonding because we literally spend 7 straight hours with each other. I felt like I was able to get to know a lot of the newer girls a lot better.”

As far as team bonding goes, the team has not had the chance to do as much as previous years. Activities like football and basketball games usually give the girls extra time to bond and make memories, but they haven’t had the chance to do any of those yet due to sports being pushed back.