Performing Teams: Captains’ Cues

By Ivie Li


As the school year comes to an end, performing groups are planning tryouts for the 2021-2022 season. It can be nerve-wracking to try out for any team, especially if it is for the first time. Captains from cheer, Step Team, Romanettes, and Twirlers have advice on how to do well at tryouts.


Hailey Mikowski has been cheering for four years and has been on the varsity cheer team for two years. When she originally tried out in ninth grade, she was a quiet and shy person, but through cheerleading and participating in the school’s musical, she became an outgoing and confident person who was much more comfortable in social situations. This year, she is captain of the varsity cheer team.


Source by Lauren DiGregorio

Varisty cheer captain Hailey Mikowski keeps an eye on the game to know when to lead another cheer.


“My biggest piece of advice would be to just go for it! It takes practice, a lot of smiling and sharp movements. Be confident and positive; it will show that you really want and deserve to make the team,” said Mikowski.


This year, cheerleading tryouts are tentatively scheduled for the week of August 30. Athletes will be selected based on precise and sharp motions, cheers, jumps, tumbling and stunting.


“During tryouts, remember to smile, be enthusiastic, and willing to learn...”

“I advise anyone that is interested in trying out to attend our open gyms throughout the summer! All interested athletes should be stretching and conditioning every day. During tryouts, remember to smile, be enthusiastic and willing to learn,” said cheer coach Ms. Westwater.


Senior Evita George has been on the Step Team for four years. By going to every single practice, perfecting what she learned at home, and demonstrating her dedication to the team, George has earned her captain title.


Source by Lauren DiGregorio

Step Team captain Evita George guides the team's performance.


“During tryouts we try to be as encouraging as possible by telling them to be confident in their dancing and stepping and to make every move big and exaggerated. Exaggeration helps in learning and memorizing the steps. We always emphasize that practice is key,” said George.


Senior Kayla Mahoney has been a Romanette for three years, and from organizing TP night, creating shirts, and making music, she was always there when help was needed. Leading the team and planning performances has always been her goal, which she accomplished this year. She is now captain along with senior Emma Fager, who has been a Romanette for three years as well.


Source by Lauren DiGregorio

In the front line of the formation, Romanette captain Kayla Mahoney begins the performance; Romanette captain Emma Fager dances before leading the group into their signature kickline.


“Make sure you stretch way before tryouts start; the more you stretch, the higher your kicks will go. To make the team, your energy and enthusiasm should make the people in the crowd want to get up and kick with you,” said Mahoney.


“I would always be practicing the routines at home and in my free time because I would have fun doing it, which is really important,” said Fager.


“Being a part of Twirlers since ninth grade has helped bring [Keralyn Lener] out of her shell and gain confidence...”

Senior Keralyn Lener was treasurer in the 2019-2020 school year and became Twirling captain this year. Being a part of Twirlers since ninth grade has helped bring her out of her shell and gain confidence. She has shown that she cares about the team and every member throughout her time in leadership positions.


Source by Lauren DiGregorio

Twirlers captain Keralyn Lener spins her baton at the front of their formation.


“All you need is a smile (even with the mask) and confidence. Make the moves big! If you feel like you look stupid, you’re doing the moves right,” said Lener.


“I encourage everyone to try out, even if they have not made the team previously. Go out there and give it your all. It is an awesome experience to learn and grow,” said Twirlers adviser Ms. Margulies.


“...make friends and have fun. You are probably going to spend the next three years with some of these girls...”

“Looking back, I wish I cherished the memories a little bit more and enjoyed every second of the football games and pep rallies,” said Mikowski.


“Some advice I have for underclassmen trying out would have to be to make friends and have fun. You are probably going to spend the next three years with some of these girls,” said Mahoney.


Looking back on their years on the team, senior performers have all agreed on one thing: practices and performances fly by so fast that the seasons end as quickly as they begin.