POM Squad brings back competitive dancing to PU

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Kicking off their first season, the Pacific University POM Squad attracted 20 students with a love to dance and perform.

President and Head Coach of the POM Squad Shaun Keylock aspired to bring a dance team back to Pacific, believing that it is an important and exciting option for both current and future students.

Keylock is a certified dance and drill coach under the Oregon School Activities Association and was a member of his high school dance team.

With a strong motivation to bring a dance team to Pacific, the club was officially approved last spring.

Since then, Keylock, along with vice president of the squad Berkley Holzschuh, have made it a goal to develop and maintain an extremely strong and professional program.

It differs from cheerleading through means of operation; both share similar ambitions, goals and motivations.

“The squad focuses strongly on synchronized movements and technical dance skills such as turns, jumps and leaps,” said Keylock. “At competitions, we are judged on the overall effect of our performance as well as choreography and the execution of dance skills.”

POM Squad practices Tuesdays and Thursdays of every week and plan to perform for various university athletic games and events.

They are currently scheduling campus performances for the winter and spring.

The group will also travel to high school events around the metropolitan area to promote Pacific and eventually plan to compete at collegiate dance nationals.

Recently the Portland State University Dance and Cheer Coach Stephanie Sheron came to Pacific’s campus and taught the group a routine to perform at half time for an upcoming basketball game.

“I joined the POM Squad because I love dancing and performing as a team” said team co-captain Susan Gardner. “I was on my high school dance team all 4 years and loved being a part of a team. I also knew it would be a good way to meet new friends and get involved on campus.”

Positions on the squad are still open to students who are interested in joining.

The admittance cost is $10 for the team t-shirt. All other costs are covered through the College of Arts and Sciences Student Senate and several fundraising events throughout the season.

“It’s a great opportunity to get to know new people, learn new dance moves and just have fun,” said team co-captain Alysha Hitzman. “There are girls and guys, people that have been dancing since they were three, and people that have never danced before. If you want to perform, all you have to do is show up to every practice. If you like showing up, but don’t want to perform, that’s fine too. Everyone is really chill and just there to have fun, learn, teach, or help out.”

POM Squad holds practices from 8:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday in Warner 4.

According to Keylock, women and men who enjoy dancing are welcome to join Pom Squad at any time.


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