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The Orion

Cheer squads bring spirit to the ‘Cats

Photograph by Thembiso Mawema Expressions Dance Team poses for a group picture during practice.
Photograph by Thembiso Mawema
Expressions Dance Team poses for a group picture during practice.

Halftime performances are entertaining, pump up the crowd and bring a lot of energy to every game.

Students at Chico State are fortunate to have two separate teams that each bring the noise and keep crowds cheering.

The Chico State Cheer Team

The Chico State Cheer Team performs at many different events and sports games. But many members said basketball is their favorite because it draws an excited crowd. They cheer at every basketball game for both the men’s and women’s teams.

Chico State cheerleader Ciara Brooks said she is always excited to perform.

“It’s honestly the biggest adrenaline rush,” she said. “I love it. The whole crowd is cheering us on and it’s just so much fun.

“We get to perform at every halftime of the season and that’s great because other teams only perform at certain halftimes.”

Cheer is somewhat dangerous and it is not unusual for cheerleaders to suffer a few injuries, just like any other sport, Brooks said.

“Our role is pretty much just to cheer on Chico State,” she said. “We perform, do stunts, and basically sacrifice our bodies to put on a show.

“I’ve been doing it for forever and it’s such a great feeling to be doing it for your college as well.”

Expressions Dance Team

Expressions Dance Team is another one of Chico’s performance teams. They are mainly a jazz team but dance other genres such as hip-hop and tap.

“We’re completely student ran and all of our choreography is coming from our students, and it’s coming from our hearts and you can see that dance is all of our passions,” said captain Ereka Lambe.

The dancers’ bonding experience sets them apart from the other performance teams, said Shannon McCool, co-captain of Expressions Dance Team.

“We always do things as a team and we’re extremely close,” McCool said.

Expressions Dance Team performs at different events such as basketball games, volleyball games and soccer games. They have an annual showcase that highlights all of their dances throughout the year.

McCool said her favorite event to perform at is the showcase because the team performs many different styles of dance.

“At games we usually stick to all the crowd- pumping dances like hip-hop and jazz and the show is more artistic and creative,” she said.

Lambe said her favorite sporting event to perform at is basketball. If she didn’t feel nervous right before a performance, it would be boring to perform.

“I feel like nerves are something that pumps us up,” Lambe said. “As soon as we hit the stage and the music starts, we’re smiling and getting so into it. It’s really something we feed off the crowd. They love to watch us and we love to get their reaction.”

The group strives to be unique every year, Lambe said.

“You can see the change of what we’ve become in the past ten years from a creative team, to a more sporty team, and we’re all around Expressions Girls,” she said.


Thembiso Mawema can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_sports on Twitter.

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