‘So You Think You Can Cheer Dance?’ was hosted on Tuesday 19th March in the LCR, and was inspired by work which the UEA Angels Cheerleading Dance committee had seen from other sports teams, such as Dancesport with UEA Strictly. We wanted to create an event that would become a legacy for our team, helping with our club’s funding whilst also raising money for charity.

What was a vague idea, quickly became a reality, as we realised that we had under a month to carefully plan, promote and undertake training for the event. Our president, Abbey Hancock, was incredibly organised, getting in touch with all the relevant people straight off the bat to ensure that we could go ahead with the night and guarantee its smooth operation. Emails were sent out to all non-dance sports teams asking for their participation, and the response we received was overwhelmingly positive. We were thrilled that nine teams were up for the challenge of not only organising themselves at super-speed, but of then undertaking three weeks of intense cheerleading training in the lead up to the event.

Our contestants were taught minute-long pom routines, including various technical elements such as kicklines, leaps and jumps, before premiering them on the LCR stage in front of our expert panel of judges, as well as an audience of almost 300 people! They competed fiercely for the title of So You Think You Can Cheer Dance Champions 2019, as well as for the People’s Choice award and the position of runner up.

We were stunned by the teams’ hard work and dedication, as well as general enthusiasm for the event. Ticket sales surpassed our expectations, and we are so proud to announce that we raised well over £1000 for Bloody Good Period – a charity which provides sanitary products to those who cannot afford them, and menstrual education to those who cannot access it. We really appreciate all the time and effort the teams, the audience and of course our wonderful judges put into the event, and cannot thank everyone enough for helping us achieve such an incredible result. A massive well done to everyone who took part, and a particular well done to our winners: Men’s Rugby – People’s Choice, Gymnastics – Runners up and Women’s Rugby (pictured) – our champions.

This was an excellent morale boost after a disappointing experience at BCA. After having won the Future Cheer National Championships with our Large Pom squad back in February, we were hopeful that we could realise the same result at BCA. However, when we arrived we were anxious that this would not be the case as this year’s venue was new and completely unfamiliar. Moreover, the organisation of the competition was poor; we were unsure where we were meant to be and when – as were the staff! This meant that both our Large and Small Pom teams were taken off warm up early, leaving them waiting backstage for far longer than was necessary, risking injury by cooling down.

Despite this, we thoroughly enjoyed both our routines and were pleased with how we performed. Both squads finished 6th in their respective categories, with very respectable scores against some really tough competition such as Glasgow University and Lancaster Roses – both of whom have National competitors on their teams. Mari, Jess, Jemma and I have loved coaching the girls and are so proud of their achievements this year. I will be so sad to leave this wonderful team behind, but wish the future coaches the best of luck for next year’s competitions!