Kirkwood High School student newspaper

The Kirkwood Call

Kirkwood High School student newspaper

The Kirkwood Call

Kirkwood High School student newspaper

The Kirkwood Call

The road to nationals

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Lola Savage
The Varsity Pommies pose in front of the ESPN “Wide World of Sports” sphere structure. (photo courtesy of Lola Savage)

The stage is filled with life as the KHS Pommies dance onto the Nationals floor for the first time in 15 years. They are all perfectly in sync as they show off their pirouettes, leaps and kicks. As the music soars, they lift one of their teammates up into the air and the room fills with thunderous applause.

When the team found out they were going to the UDA High School Nationals in Orlando this year, they said they were ecstatic. However, Lola Savage, sophomore, said that it made practice especially time consuming. She said the team had to practice at home along with after school practices. 

Though dance is not classified as a sport, it is still extremely athletic and takes so much strength, power and endurance.

— Greene

“Our coaches had us turn in videos of us doing the dance [at home], and then critiqued us to [enhance] our performance,” Savage said. “We would have two to three hour practices three times a week, [and] we’d have six a.m. morning practices on Tuesdays. It was a lot [of work], but it helped us in the long run.”

Abby Greene, senior and co-captain of the varsity team, said that many people think dance does not count as a sport in comparison to football or soccer. However, she said she strongly disagrees due to the effort that her team put into each and every one of their routines.

“A lot of people just simply don’t understand how much athleticism and training dance takes,” Greene said. “Though dance is not classified as a sport, it is still extremely athletic and takes so much strength, power and endurance.”

When Nationals came around in early February, the team arrived in Orlando and immediately got to work. Danielle Klevorn, head varsity Pommie coach, said they rented out a local studio to practice for three hours before the competition. However, she said the team still had fun. 

“On Sunday night, the last night of the competition, Hollywood Studios was open until one in the morning for all of us dancers to [enjoy] the rides,” Klevorn said. “We got to explore the park with all these other dance teams and nobody else was there.”

Savage also said that Nationals week helped her grow closer with her team. She said their time together aided in enhancing their performance as a whole.

“I really loved the team bonding,” Savage said. “It was super fun to be with them every single day [while] doing what we loved most: dancing.”

When they finally got to the Nationals floor on February 2, the team said they were really nervous since it was their first time on the UDA competition floor. Klevorn said there were 35 teams in their Pom category. 

[The] Kirkwood Pommies have come such a long way, but we have lots of more work to do.

— Greene

“Pom is two minutes of skills, tricks and turns,” Klevorn said. “Gameday [features] elements that we [perform] at football games. We [also] danced to band music, showed off our Varsity Valor [routine], yelled chants and did a halftime routine [similar] to what you would see at a basketball game.”

Greene said she and the team learned a lot from Nationals. Though their time on the competition floor was short, she said they found lots of inspiration from their competitors.

“We watched so many incredible teams that had so many amazing skills and artistry,” Greene said. “It made all of us want to get back to St. Louis and start training harder. [The] Kirkwood Pommies have come such a long way, but we have lots of more work to do.”

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Avery Haden, news writer
She/Her Hobbies and Interests: reading, writing, running, hiking Favorite song: In My Mind by Lyn LapidIn Favorite Quote: “It’s never too late to be what you might have been.”
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