Westmoore Pom & Cheer Bring Home National TitlesMar 15, 2018
National championships are getting to be a pretty familiar accomplishment for the Westmoore pom and cheer squads. The Westmoore pom squad has made the national dance competition in Orlando their own personal showcase, bringing home a national championship in Large Varsity Jazz and second place in Large Varsity Hip Hop. The championship is their 13th overall title. The pom squad chose to interview as a group, sharing their excitement at winning another championship.
“It takes dedication,” said the pom squad, “Lots of hard work and determination from both ourselves and our coaches.”
That hard work and determination comes from a legacy of excellence that the pom squad takes seriously.
“Every single year as a team we have a goal to perform our absolute best, and to make the audience feel something special,” said the squad.
Performing at their peak doesn’t come easily. The pom squad spends more than 400 hours working on their two dances. Natalie Zielney and Emily Shock coach the squad, and Shock choreographed the Jaguar’s winning routine. Squad members say they don’t take the national titles for granted.
“Each year we go into the next knowing the amount of hard work that will be put in,” said the squad, “This keeps us motivated.”
All of that hard work can produce some feelings of nervousness, but the members of the squad say that the amount of work they put into the routines helps alleviate any fears they might have about performing well.
“During the buildup to the awards, we are feeling anxious but excited,” said the squad. “Win or lose, we know we gave our all. Winning a national title makes us feel thankful that our hard work finally paid off.”
The Jaguar cheerleaders also brought home a National Cheerleading Association national title this year. It’s the team’s second consecutive championship, one that did not come easily. Senior cheerleader Mallory Kish says they worked on their routine for about 3 months.
“When preparing for this routine, we spent roughly two hours a day, four days a week practicing and trying to make everything perfect,” said Kish.
The 2018 championship routine was choreographed by Jenny Hawkins, her 30th championship routine. Kish said the routine was a step up in difficulty. But that was a challenge the squad embraced.
“The routine she had given us for NCA was definitely the hardest by far,” said Kish. “As a whole, I think everyone believed we had another shot at winning again year, so that gave everyone that extra push to come out on top.”
Those three months of practice were difficult, testing the squad’s commitment and determination.
“There were times when we struggled with skills and wanted to give up because we just couldn’t hit the skill, but with some patience, it would eventually come together,” said Kish.
Even as the cheerleaders mastered the skills to pull off the routines, the hard work and constant practice took a toll on their bodies.
Kish said, “We did have to overcome some adversity at times with a couple of injuries, but that’s just the price you pay when you do a sport you love.”
It’s the second time at the top for seniors like Kish, something that she says the entire squad truly appreciates.
“This team dedication and commitment was beyond any other team I have been a part of, and without that we couldn’t have pulled off another national title,” said Kish.
Natalie Mayfield, the Jaguar cheer sponsor, said she was extremely proud of the Jaguar cheerleaders for winning the title against some very talented competition.
“Though the team faced moments of adversity throughout the season, together they overcame it all,” said Mayfield. “Even though we will be losing some great cheerleaders, I believe that we will be just as successful in years to come with our hard-working mentality.”