Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

The Hornet

Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

Dance and cheer gear up for the road to Nationals

The Hornets’ dance team during practice for a performance that could be used for National tournaments.

The Fullerton College spirit squad is not only made up of the cheerleading team on campus, but also the dance team.

FC’s dance team performs on campus and also goes to competitions winning national titles.

Most of the members of the dance team have been on their high school dance teams or in local dance studios. Cheer members have also, for the most part, been on their high school cheerleading team.

“They’re all really hard workers and for the most part they all have a really good attitude,” said Alix Plum-Widner, adviser of the dance and cheer team. “To me, hard work and a good attitude will beat talent, especially when talent doesn’t work hard and have a good attitude.”

Both the cheer team and the dance team travel together to their competitions. The cheer team competes in the All Girls Division 3, and the dance team competes in the Open Dance Division 2.

“Our division that we enter is very challenging because it’s not just community colleges in our division,” Plum said. “It’s been a long time since cheer has won a National Championship but dance won Nationals in Florida in 2011 and 2012 and we were runner ups last year.”

The two national titles make the dance team one of the school’s most successful teams.

Teams are placed into different divisions depending on their team size and if it is an all girls team. The Division FC competes in is made up of other community colleges and small private universities.

Both cheer and dance are scored on a score sheet with a panel of judges and everything on the score sheet is out of 10.

Difficulty level is out of 10 points and their scores can go into the hundreds place.

On the other hand, dance is judged on their technique, choreography and showmanship.

Both teams are scored on collegiate appearance.

Their scores are then averaged to determine their score out of 10.

“I’ve never seen a full blown 10, I’ve seen close, I’ve seen 9.8 but usually the eights the nines and the 10’s are the teams that get into finals. If you’re in the finals you’re automatically placing in the event,” said Plum.

Shelly Altman is the cheer team coach and Ange Andros is the dance team coach.

Though the coaches usually run their practices, it is up to Plum to make the final decisions.

“But I judge dance and cheer a lot, I know what works and I know what doesn’t work,” said Plum. “The same with Ange. I need to ok everything before it gets put out there and before we buy a plane ticket.”

The coaches are responsible for the daily operations and overseeing practice.

“I think we’re gonna go really far this year. We have a lot of potential on the team,” said Gabby McGerry, first year member of the spirit squad. “We have a lot of good tumblers and some really strong stunting. Our new coach has been doing a lot with us.”

While the dance team does not have any captains in charge of the group, the cheer team has two captains, Leah Janá and Camille Pechon.

Each team works on their skills and techniques while preparing for the National Cheer Alliance and the National Dance Alliance competitions.

There is a preliminary round and a final round. And in the prelim round the scores don’t cross over into the final round.

“You go into finals competing in last place for finals which is still placing,” Plum said. “But if you hit it and you knock it out of the park, you can win it. That’s how much it can change. It’s two minutes and you’re done.”

“Right now we have two captains and if our coaches aren’t here yet they take charge and they help, and make sure we don’t get out of line or anything,” added Carina Chavez, interior design major and member of the spirit squad. “Our strengths right now is that we’re really close and we can all just come together as one.”

The teams travel together but compete in different sections of the competition.

“Our goal is to go to compete at Daytona Beach in Florida, it’s a really prestigious competition and that’s our main goal. I think if we work hard and stick together we can do it,” said Pechon. “It’s really rewarding when we accomplish a new skill.”

Both coaches and Plum are preparing the teams for their upcoming competitions, to ensure that they give their all.

“But honestly, working with the team for the amount of time that I have here, I feel that the students keep me current in a lot of different ways,” said Plum. “It’s a really hardworking group this year and I’m really excited for what the future holds for us.”

The whole spirit squad is made up of about 31 members.

“It’s a big commitment because we do the football games, we do basketball, we compete, we also make appearances and different events, fundraisers, not just for ourselves but for like the FC foundation,” Plum said. “We act as greeters at a lot of these events.”

Both teams are preparing for the Mt. San Antonio College and Key to the County games. As well as their showcase in November, The annual Inland Empire Jamboree on November 9 from 8-12 pm in La Sierra High School in Riverside.

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