Poms team finishes successful season

Varsity, junior varsity named First Grand Champion


Varsity Poms dances in West Suburban (Silver) Conference at Hinsdale South High School on Jan. 16 (Cummings/LION)

Since early November, the poms team has once again proven their talents throughout their competition season, ranking high among other high school teams. 

At the Illinois Drill Team Association (IDTA) state meet on Feb. 11, varsity poms placed first among qualifying 3A division teams in their lyrical and pom performance. The team did not stop there, for they went on to also get first High Point of the 3A teams. With such high ranking placements, the poms team was named First Grand Champion of the IDTA State Series, an honor that LT has never before received. 

Being on any team takes a lot of dedication and commitment,” varsity head coach Brittany Smith said. “On a dance team the passion, toughness, and trust you need to have in yourself and teammates is invaluable. [Poms has] an incredibly long season so being able to push through the exhaustion and count on your teammates to help you through is super helpful.”

Starting last summer, the Poms team not only prepared for the competition season that began mid-November and runs until mid-February, but they also developed their skill through their LT football and basketball half-time performances. 

“I really do enjoy all [parts] of the Poms [season],” captain Maddie Shorrock ‘23 said. “I really enjoy getting to perform at the football and basketball games [because] it’s fun to dance and not have a lot of pressure surrounding performances. That being said, while competition season can be stressful, it’s the time that [the team] bonds the most.”

As one of five team captains on varsity, Shorrock takes on a variety of responsibilities to ensure that her teammates reach their fullest potential, she said. In addition to making sure practices run smoothly through strength training, cardio, and learning complex dances, the team also sets time aside for fun group outings to ensure that the girls can rely on one another and have fun. So far the team has come together for “Pomsgiving,” secret santa, and Portillo’s dinners. Smith also created a Spirit Squad of team members that checks in on each athlete and ensures that everyone remains motivated.

“Motivation can sometimes be a challenge, especially during times of the year where it is hard to stay focused,” captain Abby Fix ‘23 said. “The members of the poms team have learned to motivate each other by [communicating with] each other and taking necessary breaks.”

Even though finding the balance as a student athlete can also be a challenge, LT does a great job in supporting poms, Fix said. Many of the poms girls go into athletic study hall during competition season, and Principal Jennifer Tyrell as well as other staff members continuously attend competitions and performances in addition to checking in on the students during class.

“The amount of supporters we [have is] crazy,” Shorrock said. “There [are] LT teachers, friends, family, and so many people cheering us on. It’s a very unique experience, getting to perform in front of all these people who came for us and want us to succeed.”

Additionally, this season the team has worked to bridge the gap between the upper and lower classes. Driven by her passion for dance, Annie Ketchum ‘25 joined the Poms team her freshman year and has since grown to be a positive and supportive teammate to each member, regardless of grade.

[Upper and lower classmen] seek the same goal: become a skilled team,” Ketchum said. “We all work [together] to achieve this, [and are] on the same page with what we want to accomplish, [pushing] each other to become better and better each day.”

Throughout this season, the Poms team has grown in a number of ways, Smith said. Not only have the members improved upon their technique, but together they continue to design creative choreography that has led to high rankings among the competition judges.

“I love getting to experience this season with this team, and getting to see the amazing things we can accomplish when we all put in a huge amount of time and effort,” Shorrock said. “The progress of our competition routines from when we first learned them to now is something [to be] proud of, [and] everything we have put into this season [has made] our dances successful.”