Published on April 21st, 2014 | by Kim Conley

Team USA Day 7: Dance Choreography & All Skills Sunday

Wow, I can’t believe it’s already been a week since we all arrived here and started training! It’s been a great weekend for Team USA.

Saturday’s focus was dance choreography. We were lucky to have Hank Light come in and add some magic to our routine! Our dance is super fast paced and keeps your eyes moving the entire time. It’s the first time I’ve started a dance on one side of the mat and ended on the other side! It is the perfect way to end our routine. After perfecting the dance, we ran sections of the routine. Although we were tired from a day full of choreography, we didn’t let it affect us; we ran each section and executed each one well!

After practice, we found out that we were getting mandatory ice baths. We were assigned rooms and our trainers came in and checked us off to ensure that we were actually taking them. I’m used to ice baths because we have to take them at Oklahoma State, so it wasn’t too bad. However, I think some of my teammates would disagree with me! Sitting in a cold bath tub filled with ice for twelve minutes isn’t much fun, but by the next morning, your muscles feel so much better!

We had Sunday morning off so that we could attend an Easter service if desired. Our afternoon practice consisted of a full out dress rehearsal in uniform. Putting on that uniform, even though it wasn’t for the first time, still felt unreal. Having USA across my chest and being able to represent my country is a feeling unlike any other. Knowing that all of that hard work and dedication has paid off, and being among the most talented cheerleaders and coaches in the nation, is truly a privilege and an honor.

After getting to practice and taking a team photo, it was go time! Before we started warming up, we got to hear our music, which pumped us up even more. JR is the mastermind behind the music, and he is amazing at what he does. Our music so upbeat; it’s like nothing I’ve ever heard! We warmed up as if we were at the competition, and Coed came in to watch us go full out. I was both nervous and excited at the same time. We made it through, and even better, we hit! It was such an awesome feeling knowing that we performed and hit a routine with so much difficulty. This team has so much drive and determination to succeed, and it shows. Even if mistakes happen, we pick back up and make the next part even better!

usa5After a successful practice, we got a small break and then headed over to support Coed as they went full out. It must have been a great day for full outs because Coed did amazing too! Their music even stopped halfway through, but they didn’t skip a beat. We all counted out loud together as they completed their routine, and they did great!

Next, it was time for dinner. As we walked over to where the food was being served, we found a surprise. The USA Cheer staff created an Easter egg hunt for us! Some eggs were filled with candy, some with money and a few even came with a note for an ice bath. It was a fun way to start dinner and was probably humorous to outsiders looking in at over 60 adults running around like kids, grabbing eggs left and right! The food was great too. It was a nice way to spend the holiday.

The day wasn’t over yet. About an hour after dinner, we had another practice. We ran the routine full out with limited tumbling. We did well with only a couple of small mistakes. We each brought one of our school shirts to this practice and laid them all out on the floor to make the number “6,” representing the sixth World Championship title we are hoping to earn! It was awesome to see so many shirts from all over the country. Who would have thought that cheerleaders from Oklahoma, Kentucky, Indiana, New Mexico and other states would all have the opportunity to cheer on the same team?

Keep reading for more updates on my journey with Team USA!

-Sam Smith

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About the Author

Managing Editor of American Cheerleader Magazine. Former cheerleader at The Ohio State University and UCA Staffer.

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