Article by Bianca Costanzo, Class of 2015:
Spirits roared through the firebird’s gymnasium on October 18. Every year, girls from fourth to seventh grade gather together for a cheer clinic lead by Kellenberg’s own varsity cheer team. The morning started off as a blast while the varsity squad was introduced by demonstrating exceptional stunts and tumbling. Then, the varsity cheerleaders set up in position to execute a routine including a cheer, dance, and stunting pyramid. Following the introduction, varsity cheerleading coach, Ms. Vigario, taught the eager cheerleaders all the necessary motions to enhance the girls cheerleading career. After becoming acquainted with right-high-V and touchdown motions, Coach Vigario continued the clinic with a lively game of “Simon Says.” The whole gym echoed with laughter as the cheerleaders worked hard to stay in the game.
After a few rounds of Simon Says, captain Dana Cioffi and senior Shanya Egalite took center stage to demonstrate the correct way to execute three different jumps. The upcoming cheerleaders practiced and perfected a toe-touch, tuck-jump, and a straight-jump. Later in the clinic, the toe-touch became a helpful tool as it was used when the varsity team taught a convivial dance that they organized during their practice time throughout the week. A few practices later, the entire gym was dancing and smiling to the beat. Along with the dance, groups from the varsity cheerleaders stood on the platform to present the cheers and sidelines they prepared for the girls.
The cheerful voices resonated as everyone recited and accomplished the motions to a basketball, general, and defense sidelines and a cheer. Soon after, the girls took a quick refreshing break for lunch, where delicious snacks were served. With filled stomachs and renewed energy, it was the time the girls were most excited for— stunting. All from different schools, the girls were combined into stunt groups ranging from beginner to advanced. From flyers, back-spots and bases, everyone had the opportunity to shine. Unfortunately, the amazing day did have to come to a close, following a final game of “ships and sailors.” The spirit was incredible and the smiles were endless.
Senior captain Kirsten Lommachio stated, “The experience was so enlightening, and it made me feel good to be able to teach girls possibly the first thing they will learn about cheer.” The varsity and junior varsity teams agreed that the clinic is truly an uplifting experience and would take every opportunity to do it all over again. The clinic was a very positive experience for everyone. It was an opportunity to help bring up the spirits of the upcoming cheerleaders. Someday they will be wearing the same uniform that my team and I wear today. Being able to see all the enjoyment radiating from the girls was the greatest reward. It brought back memories of when I first began to cheer, and to hopefully make an impact and inspire the possible cheerleading carriers they have in the future made me very grateful. The tradition of the clinic each year continues to be a wonderful success and an inspiring event!