Under these unusual circumstances, Gables’ performing arts teams have had to tackle some substantial obstacles. Usually, annual Gablette and cheerleading tryouts take place after Spring break. In a coincidental change of plans, this year’s cheerleading tryouts were hosted the week before everyone left school as a safety precaution. However, for the Gablettes this year’s auditions will have to be held virtually, despite the challenge. As these two teams continue to settle in and search for next seasons’ members, they face great difficulties.
The Gablettes have started their recruiting process since their tryout clinics which took place on April 21 and April 23. These clinics were worth $10 and were paid through the team’s Venmo. In these clinics, candidates were exposed to the basic skills that are needed to be on the team. The clinics were mostly kick and technique exercises and reviews. Tryouts were held on Zoom on May 7 through May 8. Candidates had to do an across the floor sequence, hiphop choreography, contemporary choreography ,kick choreography and judges requested for any special tricks the candidates wanted to share.
The old members of the team are working on their skills as they continue practices virtually. Usual morning practices take place on Zoom for an hour every Tuesday and Thursday. Some days, these Zoom calls may consist of ballet with a guest teacher, Coach Diaz leading stretching, technique or hip-hop choreography with assistant coach Janell. On days they do not have practice, members have workouts to complete. Sometimes they can be assigned to film themselves stretching, working out, doing kick conditioning or their turns.
Because of the uncertainty of whether or not quarantine will last until summer, the team is still not aware if they will be able to attend the National Dance Association and the Universal Dance Association summer camps. Since NDA and UDA give the team such great skill sets for future performances and competitions, the team is hopeful they will get the chance to attend.
Old members had to tryout with a video of them doing a kick combination, contemporary choreography, improvising to hip-hop and an 8/32 kick conditioning sequence. 8/32 kick conditioning consist of 8 kicks and 32 prep kicks.
“I think it will be hard to integrate the team like other years because you are at home and trying out online so you can not really meet the team and get to know what it’s really like. Improving in anything is mostly up to the new members than it is to practices,” sophomore Paulina Texier said.
The cheerleaders luckily held their clinics and tryouts prior to everyone’s exit on March 23. The new members of the team were welcomed online instead of the traditional mini gift they get on the day of acceptances. Because stunting takes a lot of strength, the cheerleaders have taken this time at home and made the best of it by making themselves stronger. By the fall, when football season starts, the cheerleaders need to be ready and know all of the band dances and cheers from the sidelines.
Online workouts are to be done every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday as well as yoga on Wednesday. Monday and Tuesday workouts have to be posted on the Band app by Wednesday at midnight, along with the yoga. Thursday and Friday’s workouts are to be turned in by Saturday on Midnight. These workouts target different areas on different days. Monday is abs day, Tuesday is legs day, Thursday is arms day and on Friday, cheerleaders have specific workouts based on their stunting positions. In every video, cheerleaders have to include their jumps, where they jump three to four times for each of the five different jump styles. A cheer or two and a dance are sent in the beginning of the week and are to be learned by Saturday, and also posted on the Band app.
Learning cheers and dances online can be very challenging for new members and the team’s officers. Because new members have never seen these cheers before, online instruction makes it harder to understand. Officers have to check off the cheerleaders and critique their cheers and dances to make sure everything is going to be ready by the fall.
The team is also unsure if they will be able to attend a summer camp with Universal Cheerleading Association instructors at the University of Miami. This camp a great opportunity for the cheerleaders to grow their stunting, jumping, cheer, and dance skills, and unfortunately this year it may be cancelled.
“It is hard to properly bond with the new members because it is all virtual and our only communication is online, but I do feel like our bond will get stronger when the seasons starts. I feel like they do not feel like they are part of a team yet but I am confident they will once all of this passes,” sophomore Kylie Alvarez said.
All in all, these two hardworking teams are working towards growing their skill sets at home. They will continue their regimens during the summer and waiting for the new season to start. All new members of both teams are going to try their hardest in integrating themselves into a new environment.
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