Sophia Weaver

Staff Reporter

6 March 2023

As the music begins, the dancers start to move on the gym floor, as the music abruptly stops, the dancers continue to dance with grace and when they finish, the noise of applause from the audience echoes in the gym.

Coach Murphy and the Atholton High School’s POMs dancers were ready to dance at the competition and felt excited to take the challenge. They were prepared and felt ready.

“I love getting to spend time with my team,” said Berkeley Smith, a sophomore at Atholton. “Competitions are the place to show off the hard work we put into [in] the studio. Most importantly, you create the best memories [in] the studio.”

The POMs team is Atholton’s competitive dance group. They perform during halftime at football games and basketball games. The team also dances in competitions that are held throughout the rest of the year. Each competition has up to eight dance styles the teams can compete with. Each team can pick how many they do and what styles they want to do. Those styles are pom, a style where jazz is combined with arm movements to involve everything in the body and make it more enthusiastic; jazz, lyrical, bandline, hip hop, kickline, gameday, and sidelines. The teams are separated in divisions based on their skill levels. Some competitions are open to All Star Programs, which is still just competitive dance but just representing it, and other community programs.

AHS POMs dancers had the opportunity to participate in a dance competition on February 11th at Charles Herbert Flowers High School, with the team getting second place in both the pom dance style and the lyrical which were the only two styles they did. The captains of each team were judged too. Molly Panepento got second place for the poms style of dance and Anna Tzeng got first place for the lyrical style of dance. Atholton and River Hill were the only two schools that represented Howard County.

The dancers were eager and ready as ever to participate in the competition, and are looking forward to the next in the upcoming weeks. The next competition they will be dancing in is March fourth.

“I am excited for this next competition,” said freshman Julia O’Donnell. “I competed with them for the first time last Saturday and I enjoyed it so I’m looking forward to the next one.”

Some other schools in the county have competitive POMs teams as well. Some being, River Hill, Hammond, Marriotts Ridge, Mount Hebron, Howard, and Long Reach. In addition, schools from other counties and the DC area participate. Though, mostly schools from Prince George’s County and Frederick County have competitive teams.

There was a competition on February 25th but AHS dancers did not dance in it since AHS hosted the competition. 

“This week’s Pom Competition is the Raider Cup here at Atholton which the team is sponsoring as a fundraiser,” said Coach Murphy.

The POMs dancers are all prepared for upcoming competitions and have been working harder than ever. 

Coach Murphy is proud of her POMs and all that they have been doing. Coach Murphy said, “The team as a whole is so supportive of each other, not just in practice but in their general lives.”

Posted by Sophia Weaver

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