DLS Cheer: Covid Edition
By: Nicole Beach
Due to IHSA rules and guidelines, there was not supposed to be a Cheerleading season. Due to recent rollouts of vaccinations and a slight decrease in Covid cases, there was some leeway available. On January 28th, 2021, cheerleaders were able to begin partaking in practices and events with new protocol and regulations being enforced.
This was my first year doing cheer. For the majority of my life, I have been a dancer. I danced for eight years and spent that time trying to perfect my craft. Never would I have thought I would find myself being a cheerleader, mainly because I never truly had the time to think about any other activities that weren’t dance. Coming into high school, I made a realization that my heart wasn’t into dance anymore. My love for it had faded away and I wanted to try something new and find a change of pace. I wanted to partake in cheer my freshman year but had doubts in the back of my mind due to my lack of actual cheer experience. Some aspects of cheer I could compare with dance, but as a whole, they are two completely different activities. It wasn’t until my junior year in high school that I put those doubts to the side, stepped out of my comfort zone, and tried out for cheer, and to my surprise, I made the team.
When I made the DLS cheer team, I was ecstatic. I had finally found something that was new and exciting. I found a new sense of comfort in cheer. Going through the movements and the routines and just working together as a team reminded me of the reason I fell in love with dance in the beginning, and although dance was now in my past, I was excited to see cheer become my future. Learning new skills and the basic fundamentals in cheer has really helped me expand my horizons and grasp the different aspects I’ve never experienced nor seen through movement.
Participating on the DLS cheer team has also given me an increased amount of school spirit. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to cheer at basketball games this season due to social distancing guidelines, but luckily, we were able to cheer at the football games. Being on the sidelines and having the chance to interact with the fans, the players, and even the students has benefits of its own and made me excited and wanting more for the next game. It has definitely opened my eyes and given me a new perspective on how school spirit contributes greatly to the wellness of the school.
Although this cheer season wasn’t a normal season and was shorter due to the pandemic, it was still fun and I’m truly happy that I was able to partake in it. Not only did I learn new skills, but I also made new experiences. I’m looking forward to next season which will truly be special since it will be my senior season. I want to take in the most that I can next year particularly since this year everything was limited and make the most of what I can.