GIAG Review: Cheerleading

On Friday, the 30th September, the Leeds Celtics Cheerleaders hosted their Give it a Go for their Pom team in Cromer Terrace. The Pom team has participated in competitions countrywide, including in Sheffield and Birmingham last year. The Leeds Celtics even had the incredible opportunity to go to Germany earlier this year to compete!

Pom is a dance that includes, well, pompoms (slightly given away in the title), as well as a variation of kick-lines, tumbling and formation changes. Don’t worry I didn’t know what they all were at first either!

We arrived to the GIAG at 5pm and were welcomed by a friendly committee, all of whom were wearing their cute committee bows and jackets. With an amazing turn out of over 50 people, we were given a number and a letter to stick onto ourselves.

We started out with an energetic warm up on the mats, which, having not done any exercise all summer, definitely got my heart pumping, and I began to think that this would be a challenge. We were then left to do our own stretches, followed by jumping straight into learning arm motions. We were taught by two sassy, but informative, coaches, Chloe and Hannah, who definitely set the standard high! We started out with arm motions, all of which had their various names, none of which I can remember now. We then went straight into pirouettes… interesting to say the least! Just when I thought it couldn’t get any harder we moved onto a variety of jumps, including: pike jumps, toe touches and herkies.

We then watched Chloe and Hannah do a kick-line; picture the cancan but with sky-high leg kicks! It looked amazing, and has definitely inspired me to practice kicking that high. Next was the all-important dance routine. I really enjoyed this. It was fun, but it was also challenging staying in time with the counts. We practiced the routine several times. When I looked around everyone was taking it very seriously, as if they were actually auditioning to be a part of the prestigious Celtics Pom team. Thankfully, we didn’t have to perform the routine individually in front of everyone. We had our photo taken and were videoed doing the routine together, something that no one should probably ever watch again! We did our all-important kick-line, and as I was number 5 and on the end, I only anticipated that it could go horribly wrong. I was right. We then had to choose our favourite jump to perform, and for someone who ‘jumps’ only out of fear, ‘favourite’ probably wasn’t the word I’d have chosen. Nevertheless, I gave my best attempt at what I can only describe was an odd combination of them all.

I had a great time getting an insight into the world of cheerleading; the dance routines were exciting and the coaches were so enthusiastic, making even novices like me feel at home. Although, sadly, I’ve come to the conclusion that cheerleading is not for me. I wish the Pom team luck for the rest of the season. Go Celtics!

Amy Brown

(Image courtesy of Leeds Celtics Cheerleaders)

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