This year, tryouts for the 2019-20 season will be on April 11-13 and are open to all 8th-11th graders. Sarah Gretter, parent to Chloe, recalls sitting down and talking to Chloe when it was time for her to make the decision to tryout.
“So I guess we had just a lot of conversations about the reputation, and while I completely disagree with the reputation, I also always remind my girls that sometimes you’re judged by the company you keep. And sometimes you’re put in situations that normally you wouldn’t be because of who you happen to be with at that time,” Sarah said. “Some of those can be really, really good situations and some of those can be really hard decisions to make.”
Sarah responded with this when asked what she would tell other parents who are going through the same thing that she had gone through with Chloe, “I would tell them that just like any other experience in high school, your daughters and sons are going to have to make choices. I don’t think that’s specific to being on the poms team, and I think that as parents, our job is to teach our kids how to become adults. Part of that is learning to make decisions. I think there’s many opportunities on poms to make your own decisions … We would love to have any people try out that love to dance because that’s what Chloe loves and that’s what the other girls love.”
Both coaches understand why some parents may be reluctant to have their children tryout.
“As a parent, I totally understand, … [but] half of our team is new this year. If I were a parent telling me, ‘Oh, well, this is the reputation of poms.’ I [would] go, ‘Well, half of our team is new. How do you have a reputation when half of these girls have [never] even been on the team?’” Fallon said.
This year, four more girls will be graduating, leaving only three girls with multiple years of experience on the team.
“Come out and give us a chance and make that judgment for yourself,” Gomez says to those who are hesitant to let their children join the team.
“Rather than listening to these people who aren’t on the team and don’t really know anything think about it, they’re just repeating [what] they heard [or what] they thought they saw or whatever. That’s someone else’s opinion, and I would say try to rise above. Do dance because you love it, and come let us prove you wrong,” Gomez said.
Though the coaches had different experiences when it came to their high school dance teams and their student body, they both understand and relate to being stereotyped for enjoying dance.
“I’ve always been a person to say to rise above any rumor. If you love something and you want to do it, I think you should. That rumor is just a rumor,” Fallon said. “I’m coaching and I’m fighting those stereotypes with them as well.”