Story contributed by Sarah Gail Myers, journalism student.
The UM spirit squads are headed to 2021 NCA & NDA Collegiate Cheer & Dance Championship in Orlando.
After a year of uncertainty surrounding the competition, the squads will finally be able to show off their hard work and talent. Cheer coach and spirit coordinator Jaylin Davis is excited by what the team can do.
“We have pyramids, we have baskets, we have stunts, we have tumbling, and then for game day, um, it’s more about getting the crowd involved and how we can lead the crowd better,” Davis said.
The all-women and co-ed cheer squads will compete in both the game day and traditional events and the Rebelettes will compete in jazz and, for the first time this year, the NDA game day event.
Although winning is the goal, both Davis and the director of spirit squads, Rachel Leventzow, say that this competition is not just about winning.
“Everybody wants to win and that’s a great goal to have; however, it’s not about just winning, it’s about the journey. It’s about where did we start? Where do we end? It’s about, are we walking away, better teammates, better people, better leaders, better dancers than we were when we started the journey. It’s, are we becoming a stronger unit?” Leventzow said.
The teams are ready to show off their skills and show that this journey was a success.
“It’s really great to have the support system that we do because it reminds me every single day that I love to dance, and I’m just really, really excited for everybody to see what we’ve been working so hard on,” said senior and captain of the Rebelettes Lizzie Meffe.
The squads will have a showcase of their routines Sunday at 5 p.m. in the Tad Smith Coliseum and then head for Orlando right afterwards.