The Cheer and Goldline Dance teams will be competing in the annual national competition held in Daytona, Florida. This season is different because the teams have faced several challenges this season, including the cancellation of their last nationals’ competition.
Goldine dancer, Nneka Wade said, “I am absolutely excited to be able to even compete in a competition this year, and I believe the same goes for my teammates as well. Due to COVID and the shutdown, we felt robbed of our opportunity to compete since our whole season kind of builds up to those final moments in late March and early April.”
There have been several changes to the teams resulting from the pandemic and the safety precautions that have had to be taken to ensure everyone’s safety. Due to this there have been several times when training has been harder than usual. Despite this, the team members are keeping their heads up and giving each practice their best.
“We have been training this season by still doing four days of practice a week, making sure everyone is covid free and working out on our own to be stronger ourselves for the team,” said cheerleader Justyna Kersten. “This season, in fact, has been different from any other season with football being canceled and the protocol we have to follow to make sure everyone is safe.”
Coming into the competition season, all the participants had to make sure to come out strong, said Kersten, due to a delay of practices from each member because each student needed to be cleared by the Texas Wesleyan athletic training staff prior to starting.
“This got in the way of all of us practicing and getting ready for our competitions,” said Kersten.
Alisha Sharp, a cheerleader, said, “We had a delayed the start to the season. There was a blessing in disguise, though, which was not having to cheer at any games during our competition season and NCA removed game days from out routine so that is nice.”
Despite these setbacks, nothing is stopping the dancers and cheerleaders from getting prepared to give their all during their Daytona trip. The teams feel that this competition holds more tension to succeed than ever before due to the missed competitions in the past.
“We have two ‘generations’ of cheer leaders [and dancers] who haven’t had the chance to experience Nationals. That changes the dynamic and can affect drive and motivation,” said cheerleader Queen Elizondo.
Despite the results of this competition all participators are just excited for the experience and ready to see all their hard work finally pay off. They are all beyond grateful, as well, to everyone who has been supportive of the teams this season throughout all the difficulties they have faced. “We are going to kill it this year in Florida, and I am honored to have had the chance to dance with [these] wonderful ladies,” said Wade.