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Cheer competes in its first CIF competition

Cheer competed at the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Championship Saturday, Jan. 11 at Martin Luther King High School.

This is the first competition that Cheer has participated in nearly five years, so none of the current members have competed previously. The team puts in five days of practice a week with each session lasting two and a half hours. During practice sessions, members begin by stretching, then move on to performing jumps, stunts and full-outs, in which they go through the entirety of the routine.

“It’s been nonstop working for our competitions. We had a lot less time to start than other teams because we had a coach situation,” sophomore Brianna Holloway said. “After all that got settled, the first competition was right away, so we were really under pressure but did pretty well.” 

After arriving at the school, Cheer had a short amount of time to rehearse its stunts and jumps, going through the entire routine once before having to perform. The judges evaluated on sharpness of motions in dancing, technique in stunting, facials and ability to connect with the audience.

“It’s a cool feeling because there’s so many people watching and all [of them] want you to succeed because they’re all cheerleaders [too],” sophomore Erin Cu said. “I was really nervous, but right when we got on the mat, nothing mattered. It was muscle memory at that point because we’ve done our routine so many times.”

In preparation for its next competition Saturday, Jan. 18, Cheer has been working on sharpening its motions and improving based on the judges’ feedback. Cheer is also adding changes to the core routine by making the stunts more difficult in order to keep on par with the other schools. 

“As we were doing [our routine], it was really intense because you’re surrounded by people on all sides and you can see all their faces,” Holloway said. “I felt proud of us because we’re a whole new team of girls. It was our first chance to represent our school [so] we were eager and excited.”

By Natalie Cheng, Staff writer
Photos courtesy of  Kaitlyn Tran