A spook-tacular time

Cheer team hosts annual clinic


Photo courtesy of Anna Blumenthal

During the cheer clinic, the girls set aside time to work on motions as well as jumps. The cheerleaders stood at the front of the gym with a mic to demo materials they were being taught. “It was important for us to still be able to offer this opportunity to kids,” cheer coach Stefani Lane said. “We have a group of kids that love and look forward to coming every year. We are really happy that we still got to do it, even if it was on a smaller scale.”

Jasmine Hermosillo-Padilla, Editor-in-Chief Catalyst Online

On Saturday, October 31, the Millard West Cheer team hosted their annual Cheer Clinic in Wildcat 1 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. 

Anyone from ages 4-14 was invited to cheer alongside the cheer team and learn material they could use as future cheerleaders. For $40, the participants also received a T-shirt and other spooky treats and snacks. 

“The seniors and I created dances ahead of time for the girls to do during the day,” senior Jessica Heckart said. “With the Halloween theme, we tried to incorporate that into the material that we taught to them.”

The day of the Clinic began with the arrival of the participants in the gym wearing their costumes to fit the theme. 

“As far as this year compared to others we have taken lots of precautions,” cheer coach Stefani Lane said. “Normally. we roughly have 250 kids that attend our clinic, and this year we were cautious so we kept it around 100.” 

With COVID-19, the girls had to spread out to follow social distancing by staying in their assigned color groups in the gym. They were also required to wear their mask the entire time, with the exception of their snack break.

Throughout the day the girls were taught two dances, the first being choreographed to “Ghostbusters” and the other to “The Monster Mash.” These included a variation of motions as well as spooky dance moves. 

They also taught the younger girls a “Wildcat Power” cheer along with a few other sideline cheers including “Cats are Number One” and “M-I-L.”

“My favorite thing I learned was their tryout cheer”, clinic participant Lexi Foster said. “It was cool to be able to learn what they had to try out with to be on the team.”

When the cheers and dances were not being taught, they were learning boogie chants, motions and jumps during a separate class. Throughout the day the girls also rotated groups into an entrance of the school to participate in the photo booth created by the parents with a Halloween backdrop. 

“I think overall this is a fun event for the team every year,” Lane said. “It is not a lot of pressure on them, and they get to put something together for the little girls.”

Despite not being able to perform at halftime of the varsity football game, the future Wildcats left the clinic with smiles, boosted confidence and more cheer experience to hopefully bring to the sidelines in upcoming years.