Rolandra West


Texas Wesleyan’s cheer and dance squads are preparing for their first competitions, set for Feb. 11 in Oklahoma City for the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).


Both cheer and dance make their way to competition with 16 cheerleaders, two mascots and nine dancers competing. Carolyn Ikens, cheer and dance coach, said the dance team has all new members and has increased in talent this year. Ikens said both teams have been preparing since October for the competition.


“The cheerleaders are required to perform a two minute and 15 second routine consisting of dance, stunts, jumps, tumbling and other technical elements,” Ikens said. “The mascots have prepared a one minute and 30 second routine, each and will be performing against each other.”


Ikens said the dancers have also prepared a routine that consists of a combination of jazz, hip hop and pom styles of dancing.


Keorah Strain, sophomore theatre major and cheerleader, said she is both excited and nervous about her first competition.


“College competition will be hard,” Strain said. “There are a lot of things that come with being a cheerleader in college. There is fast up and down stunts; jumps that have to be perfect.”


Strain said the most important thing about college-level competition is skill.


To prepare for competition, the cheerleaders, dancers and mascots have practiced intensely to perfect their routines said Rebecca Hebron, senior finance major and captain of the cheerleading squad.


“With only a few practices left, I am very excited to take my squad into this competition to see how we do,” Hebron said.


Ikens said the team is excited and has worked hard to represent Texas Wesleyan. NAIA schools will attend from all over. Ikens said among the different conferences, Texas Wesleyan’s cheer and dance squads will be competing in the Red River conference.


For more information on NAIA sports visit