By Michaela Fox
School has just begun, and our school’s pep teams are already preparing for the sports season ahead. Students may have seen the LIU cheer and dance teams before at sporting events, cheering on our players and exciting the crowds for the big games. This year, however, the students are in for a big surprise.
The two teams joined together for Spirit Day on Saturday, Sept. 22 and Sunday, Sept 23. Children from the ages of five to fourteen were invited to attend a day of learning sideline routines, stunts and cheers. Participants from Spirit Day are welcome to join the cheer and dance teams during their homecoming performances on October [date], including the half-time show.
Kaela Steinbrenner, a freshman on the dance team, aided in Spirit Day. The dance team prepared two routines to perform at the pep rally and during the game. “We’ve also been working out and practicing our sideline routines and cheers so that we are totally ready to hype up our fellow Pioneers,” she added.
The dance and cheer teams have not yet practiced together as both teams are solidifying their individual routines, but they will be working together soon according to Kayla.
The cheer team has adapted a new routine for the homecoming game and are working towards some new goals for this season.
Skylar Byram, cheer team head coach who joined in August, has a new style to introduce to the team. “We’re doing things a bit different from last year,” she said.
The cheer team recently switched from the NCA to the UCA conference, which hosts their nationals event at Disney World in January. The NCA conference championships were hosted in April of last year, so the switch to UCA has the cheer team on their toes, as they have less time to prepare for nationals. The team’s goal is to make finals at nationals and place in the top five.
The team is not only preparing game day routines for the football and basketball games, adding volleyball games to their schedule.
The cheer team has much in store for homecoming. They are working on involving more alumni at the game and created t-shirts to be sold during common hour in the days leading up to it.