SMU pom squad competes in nationals

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The SMU Pom Squad heads to the NDA Collegiate Dance Championships to win a fourth title. (Courtesy of SMU Pom Squad)


The SMU Pom Squad does more than sideline dances.

Fresh off from competing at the Collegiate Championship of the American Dance/Drill Team, the team is heading to Daytona Beach, Fla.

After a two-year hiatus, the team will be competing at the National Dance Association Collegiate Dance Championship Wednesday through Sunday.

Preparation for Nationals started in the summer. The first step was to qualify at the NDA Collegiate Camp.

This will not be the first time the squad has competed at NDA. SMU is a three-time
title-holder.

The team won the Division 1A Open national title in 2006, 2008 and 2009.

SMU was the first team to win a title in the division.

The last time the Pom Squad competed was in 2011.

SMU’s Coach Lori Todd believed it was time for the squad to focus on SMU and
game days.

“They have worked so hard at redefining who the SMU Pom Squad was,” Todd said.

Only two members on the team have experience competing at NDA.

“It is also extremely exciting for Emily and I to be able to share this experience with the other girls on the team,” Co-Captain Tracy Olson said. “We both competed our freshman year and their determination to compete and do well energizes us to finish our season strong.”

At NDA, the Pom Squad will compete against 17 other college dance teams from around the country, and faces heavy competition.

Some teams have dance majors. According to Todd, Meadows School of the Arts does not allow dance majors to be on the Pom Squad.

Unlike SMU, a few of the schools in the division do not have basketball teams. This allows the teams to devote more time to practice.

What is this?

“We are competitive. If we go out there and put our best foot forward we will be competitive we can go to finals,” Todd said.

Due to the open division, any dance style can be performed.

Before the start of the season, the seniors on the Squad voted to perform a jazz routine at Nationals.

“Since we are doing jazz, it’s kind of something that everyone can get and can clean,” Co-Captain Emily Wolfe said. “It’s really fun and exciting to watch.”

Derrick Schrader, a choreographer based in Los Angeles created SMU’s routine.

At Nationals, the team will be judged on a variety of categories including technique, choreography, degree of difficulty and uniformity.

Each category is worth 10 points.

“We will have only those two minutes to prove to the judges that our artistry, technique and synchronization is among the best in the nation to earn a spot in the National Finals,” Olson said.

Before heading off to NDA, the team performed its competition routine for the
SMU community.

The team hoped to bring awareness to their hard work and dedication.

“Since not a lot of people know the difference between Pom and Cheer, I think it is a good thing for them to see what we can do,” Wolfe said. “The fact that we are trying to make it such a big event is really important so that we get support from the people we are supporting all year.”

After Nationals, the SMU Pom Squad will be holding tryouts for the 2014-2015 team April 26-27.

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