CWU Cheer holds virtual tryouts


Peyton Moen

Kenia Reynosa, Staff Reporter

CWU’s cheer and stunt team is looking for cheerleaders for the upcoming 2021-22 season.  After getting approved for the fall, the team can finally make a comeback after an unpredictable year.

Auricia Johnson

Anyone interested in being a part of the team needed to try out, including returning members. Tryouts were held virtually from April 23-25. This was the case for cheer veterans Auricia Johnson, a junior Sociology major, and Peyton Moen, a junior ITAM major. Having gone through tryouts before they said they know how exciting and stressful it can be.

Holding tryouts virtually can have its pros and cons. For one it lets the prospective team members perform their material in their environment of choosing and in front of the panel only. This takes away some of the pressure from traditional tryouts. 

Johnson said in the past in-person tryouts are usually a longer process and the judges and coaches are looking at you at all times. She said when someone is stunting, tumbling and cheering, all eyes are on them at that moment, but now that it’s virtual, they have the time to be in their own space.

Moen said that while it may take away stress from the actual performance it can also add stress in different areas. She said not getting to see the people that are trying out, seeing what she’s competing against makes her question if she’s doing enough. 

“It’s gonna be a surprise to see who makes the team,” Moen said.

Johnson said it is best to be confident during the interview process. 

“You could be chosen for your personality even if you’re not a strong tumbler or dancer,” Johnson said. 

Even though it has been a long time waiting, Moen and Johnson said they are excited to cheer once again. For Moen, cheer has been an escape for her and has helped her go through tough times. 

“Cheer was always that time that I got to focus on myself,” Moen said. “It has been my way of relieving stress.”

It all began on April 23, which was prep day. A dance and cheer was posted in the afternoon. Potential cheer members then had that same night to learn and practice it. 

The next day was tryout day. The dance, cheer and other skills were performed through Zoom to a panel of judges and coaches during their scheduled time slot. 

The first round of cuts were made that very same day. Coach Kelsey Stephens then posted who made it through to day two. The final day consisted of interviews with Stephens.

Stephens has coached the team for the past five years and is also a CWU alumna. Those who made it then met virtually with Stephens for a morning interview. 

Being a cheerleader takes more than just skill. The interview gave Stephens the chance to ask questions and get to know the prospective dancers. After the interviews were conducted, the tough decision of who made the final cut was made and announced on their Instagram @cwu_cheerleading.