Pom squad has high hopes for next season

by Laura Dillavou

The mass e-mails and posters are everywhere. The Simpson pom squad is calling all dancers to come and try out for the 2003 season.

When catching up with Coach Marcia Miller and some of her dancers, it is clear that this team is one with high hopes and big plans for the future.

Going on her fourth year at Simpson, Miller is excited about the upcoming season. During the fall and winter 2002-3 seasons, there were 15 girls that danced and competed regularly for the Simpson pom squad.

Next year, Miller would like to increase her numbers to 20 women. “By choosing a few girls who are really strong, they can help carry the season from fall to winter.”

Senior Ashley Ostroski said that by having more women on the pom squad, it allows for everyone to meet more new people and bring something extra to the squad.

Next year, Miller hopes to go to more regional competitions,as well as have more community performances. She feels that performing in places like nursing homes, charity events and schools would be very good for the team, putting it more in the public eye.

This year, the Simpson dancers went to one competition in Chicago. Seven women went to a Chicago Bulls game to compete against schools from Iowa and Illinois, including the team from Central College.

“Our girls were evaluated very strongly in comparison with other schools,” said Miller. Going to this competition was the highlight of the year for many dancers.

“Our trip to Chicago was so fun. The girls totally bonded and got along so well. That made it so memorable and fun for everyone,” said freshman Calista Vasey.

Getting to such a big competition takes a lot of practice and dedication on the part of the women. This past year, the squad practiced three times a week.

While practice may not be the best part of dancing on the Simpson pom squad, Ostroski feels that because of all the hard work that the team puts in, it is the best it has been since she first started four years ago.

The role the coach plays is also important when determining the success of a team. While Miller isn’t a dancer, “she has a very talented eye for what looks good, what works with an audience and what appeals to a college crowd,” said Ostroski.

Vasey realizes that Miller’s approach to letting older, more experienced dancers lead the rest of the team is a good tactic that seems to work well for the squad.

“She’s there if something good happens, and she’s there when something bad happens. We can talk to her and know that she genuinely cares about us,” said Vasey.

As for next year, Miller looks to incorporate more school spirit into its routines and shows. Of course, getting ready for regional competitions is its main focus, and perhaps even competing at nationals in the distant future is in the agenda.

Overall, Miller feels that she again will have a successful season as the head coach of Simpson’s pom squad with the help of a dedicated, talented group of women.