Emma Crowley takes on POMS Nationals

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By: Amber Rainsberger ‘21

Stretching on the mat, freshman Emma Crowley, gets ready for the biggest competition she has ever competed in. After training for 15 hours a week since August, the time has finally come. Flying almost 2,000 miles out to Orlando, Florida, the Regis Jesuit POMS team competed in the NDA’s National High School competition. 

One of the biggest questions asked about POMS is: what is it?  What makes it different from cheer?  The answer is, “The poms team is dancing. They work on choreography for weeks. They don’t do many lifts and tricks, especially not during football season. They will be the ones doing turns and leaps. They don’t yell during routines, either. Instead, they have smiles plastered to their faces the whole time.” – the Gazette. https://www.thegazette.com/subject/sports/blogs/community-corner-by-jr-ogden/poms-vs-cheer-20150325

The Regis Jesuit POMS team consists of 13 girls: two seniors, four juniors, one sophomore, and six freshmen.  

Crowley says, “This year’s team is really strong, because we did the best in competition in Regis POMS history.”  

The girls had to perform two dances, one was a dance that they had learned at camp over the summer.  Placing 25th at nationals this year, their jazz routine definitely put them over the top. 300 teams from around the country compete in this competition every year.  But, not all teams that want to attend are able to.  Teams must have a bid to go.  Getting this bid requires going to a camp during the summer.  Not only that, but every member of the team must agree to attending.

Emma Crowley right before getting ready for POMS practice

Everyday, the girls would wake up at six a.m. the first couple of days to prepare for their competition.  In the process of constant braiding, glitter, and hairspray, the girls put their hair in tights buns at the top of their heads.  Next, the makeup.  

“We always need to make our makeup really heavy so it can be seen while we’re dancing.  So, basically, lots of lashes, like a million layers of eyeshadow, bright red lipstick, globs on globs of mascara, and tons of blush,” Crowley said.

After the long process of costuming, the team heads to the studio.  There, they worked two hours tirelessly on the dances, to make them the best they could be.  Filled with anticipation and excitement, they headed over to the ESPN Wide World of Sports.  

“As soon as we got out of the car, it was go time. You had to have your game face on and act as confident as you can.  No matter what happened, you COULD NOT let the competition know you were scared or nervous,” she said.

Crowley says that the competition was a blur, it was stretch, cheer each other on, dance, and then congratulate each other.  After performing, the girls watched the other teams compete.  Talent was everywhere.  Girls who have danced all their lives, or even girl who just started, there was a big mix.  People all of the country came to show of their dance skills.  

Emma exclaimed: 

“It was literally just so amazing, I saw so many dances that were so intricate and well timed, it seems that it wouldn’t take forever to get it down,” Crowley said.  “The whole experience was just so worth the amount of time spent.  I bonded with my team and I wouldn’t have traded it for the world.”

The team is a family.  Every single member matters to everyone else.  The team even has a family structure.  The seniors are the parents, who look out for the rest of the team.  The juniors are teenagers who help out the seniors with the younger ones.  The freshmen and sophomore are the children who are just getting a grasp of high school life and what it means to be on the team.  

Crowley states, “These girls are my second family.  They literally are my support system. Being with them for 15 hours a week, really just allowed us to become so close.  These girls are my sisters and I’m just so grateful for them and I wouldn’t trade this experience for the world.”