Phenomenal wins for the MVHS Spirit family

Phenomenal wins for the MVHS Spirit family

Nona Penner

Dance, Cheer, and Song Teams compete and bond at the 2011 USA Spirit and Dance/Drill Nationals on March 25

On March 25, Dance, Song, and Spirit teams headed out to Anaheim, Calif., for the 2011 USA Spirit and Dance/Drill Nationals. Dance and Cheer placed second, while Varsity Song placed fourth.

On top of high-placing wins at Nationals, the weeks leading up to it served as a valuable bonding experience, especially for new members on all three teams.  Dance Team celebrates the victory of their first trophy out of five together at the 2011 USA Spririt and Dance/Drill Nationals. Photo courtesy of Bob Griswold.Freshman Celine Mol and junior Amanda Krestch are first-year members of the Cheer Team who attended Nationals for the first time. Both previously were actively involved in competitive gymnastics and practiced at Airborne Gym in Santa Clara.

“Gymnastics is individual—you do everything for yourself,“ Mol said. “You end up competing against your teammates in the end.”

Despite this, Mol and Krestch felt like the gymnastics environment was more supportive than Cheer initially was, with team members in gymnastics cheering on each other saying, ‘All right team, you can do it!’ Mol and Krestch brought up this concern to the team, and soon enough, Cheer began their own support system to bring the team even closer for their routine at Nationals.

“Doing the first pyramid … we had a lot of trouble with [it], but through that we started encouraging each other and … people started [encouraging each other] more throughout the whole cheer, after every stunt,” Mol said.

For freshmen Dance Team members Niki Griswold and Kitty Liu, Nationals reinforced the relationships that were already built into the team. 
“Dance Team is really amazing because everyone becomes your sister,” Liu said. You can walk around school and you have family everywhere—we’re just that close.” To prepare for Nationals, Dance team meticulously perfected their routines at practices and attended smaller competitions to get a feel for performing in front of an audience and feedback from the judges. But Nationals was a learning experience in itself for both Griswold and Liu.

“You see other teams that are really strong in certain areas that you want to improve on, so it inspires you to work on those areas,” Griswold said.

Competing against other schools gave Dance, Song, and Cheer Teams a sense of unity with each other by going to see each others’ performances. The three teams, which had not been necessarily close to each other at school, found themselves cheering for one another—all through competing on the National stage.