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Monday, January 9, 2017

cheer competitions are not for the weak

there was a bit of upheaval with the bean's cheer squad earlier in the year, with some crazy drama/school politics resulting in a new coach being hired to groom the girls for their games and competitions.  it's been a bit of a rollercoaster, with some miscommunication and last-minute emails plus a relatively young coach still trying to figure it all out.  this has all lead to a bit of discontent, both by the bean and me, and it still remains to be seen as to whether we'll be participating in this program again next year.  considering that the bean has been a cheerleader at school ever since she was in transitional kindergarten, i'm not a huge fan of the idea of quitting...but i'm also not going to force her to do it if she doesn't want to.  and there are lots of other activities out there that she can do.

anyway, the girls have been working hard over the last few months on a routine for their first competition.  and then with a two-week break for christmas, they returned to school with just five days until the big day.  several back-to-back mandatory practices later, they were as ready as they'd ever be.  and as i watched them during the last practice, it seemed that they had managed to pull it together pretty well for the time they had to work with.

however, no amount of prepping and pep talking could make the primping portion of the day any easier for any of us.  we were tasked with doing a smoky eye with red lips and blush on cheeks plus a high ponytail, and i think i've mentioned before how much my child despises hair and makeup.  there was a lot of yelling and crying and tantrums thrown by all three of us, and it just wasn't pretty.

all i had to do was make myself look presentable and throw on my special tee for the day.

we finally got through it all, and once she got dressed and we got to the house where the squads were meeting for a final once-over, she was a-ok...especially once she got a donut in her belly and some time to hang out with her friends.

then it was time to get back in the car and head over to nearby azusa pacific university.  it wasn't hard to confirm that we were in the right place once we pulled into the parking lot.

after i coughed up my $15 for admission, i took a couple of quick photos and then left her in the hands of the coach for the rest of the morning.

i went in with the other parents and found seats on the upper level, which offered a great view of the floor.

meanwhile, the girls were outside taking some fun pre-comp group photos.

when it was their turn, i found myself feeling all nervous and shaky and stuff.  typical stage mom syndrome, right?  and even as i held up my phone to take video of their performance, i found myself struggling to hold it still and blinking back tears of nervousness and pride.  you know, the usual.

they ran out, looking confident and full of enthusiasm and nervous excitement.  you can see the bean at the top left in both shots here.

they took their places, and as soon as they heard the words "you are now in competition," they went to work.  the bean is the first one on the left here.

she's a really good base, and she was focused and determined while still managing to remember to smile.  here, she's holding up the flyer's right foot on your right.

and then they transitioned into their dance, still looking strong.  she's on the top right here.

a few more moves, and BOOM - done.  nailed it.

if you can stand my shaky hand and the crazy screaming and cheering, here's the video i took.

the hub, who had to skedaddle as soon as the performance was over, headed over to say goodbye and congratulate her on how well they'd all done.

after they were done, we watched the last of the squads perform before the special competitions (stunts, tumbling, toe touches) and then finally all the cheerleaders gathered on the floor to see who'd won what.

if you look closely, you can see the bean right in the middle of all these screaming cheerleaders.  she looks slightly bored and is almost side-eyeing the spectacle in front of her.

and then i learned that every squad gets a trophy at this competition.  WUT.  i find that rather annoying and somewhat misleading for some.  i mean, i hate to say it, but there were a handful of squads who were clearly outclassed (and of course, a few that were obviously well-trained and put in hours of practice).  and so i found myself barely listening to hear what category our squads actually got their trophies for.  i think i heard something about "elementary cheer, novice" before they announced the bean's squad as first place.  i'm not really sure what exactly they got.  although the school's two squads combined did take one of several "most spirited" trophies, which i suppose was actually earned.  our varsity squad was only one of two in their division, and while they were given first place in some sort of category it was really unclear as to what they'd really won.

either way, they'd all worked hard and they deserved their moment to shine.

i got a selfie with my girl:

and yes, i bought her something to reward her for her effort, dedication and determination.

we have at least one more competition before the year is over...maybe two.  and so i'm already prepping her so that she can be ready for the primping again.  she said she'd had a good time and enjoyed being with her friends and getting to perform and winning something, and so i told her to just keep that in mind the next time we had to put the makeup on.

oy.  i can't believe i have a daughter who hates makeup and hair.  good lord.

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