Poms Dances Their Way to Nationals


The Poms team posing in front of Cinderella’s castle at Disney World.

By Marija Kraljevic, Staff Writer

The Niles West Varsity Poms team traveled to the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida on Thursday, Jan. 31, to compete at the 2019 National Dance Team Championship. The team competed both Friday and Saturday, , placing 20th out of 26 teams in their division.

The team flew to perform at the elite 2019 National Dance Team Championship that lasted from February 1-3. They were able to experience what it’s like to be at Nationals while exploring Walt Disney World all at the same time. They performed both lyrical and sideline poms dances.

For many on the team, competing at Nationals was an incredible dream.

“It was definitely worth it,” team member and senior Mariana Rodriguez said. “We were fortunate enough to go to Nationals and compete against the best schools in the nation. I enjoyed every part of the trip.”

While being in Florida for five days, their schedule was nothing but busy as each day they had countless activities and events that needed to be attended to. Their day started early as they woke up around six o’clock in the morning and prepared themselves for the long, yet exciting, day ahead. They rehearsed their routine for a little then headed towards the arena to perform. After performing, they’d watch their competition compete and then wait for awards to be announced.

“It was amazing viewing other teams, we were able to see them perform and showcase their moves. We were also able to see what items we could incorporate into our own routines in the future,” team member and sophomore Josie Thannert said.

Seeing the hard work and dedication that many of the other teams put into their routines was something that will not be forgotten by the pommers.

“Honestly, watching other teams was breathtaking. We’re usually dancing and we don’t know how we look like, but being the outside watching other teams was just surreal. Also considering how hard each team works and seeing the end result is amazing,” Rodriguez said.

As the days concluded, the team visited the different Disney parks and adored their final moments in Florida.

Assistant Athletic Director Terry Laux also explained how determined the team was to perform their best and reach their goals of going down to Nationals.

“It’s something that they worked hard for as far as raising the funds to get down there, so it was all on their shoulders. This was something they really wanted to do, so they took it, and ran with it,” Laux said.

At the end of the day, the pommers performed to the best of their ability, showed great confidence in an unfamiliar environment, and ultimately had a great time. Their accomplishments this season will definitely not go unseen and hopefully carry on to next year’s season.