The UWS Cheer and Dance Team has remained active despite COVID-19. Under normal circumstances, the team can be found cheering on Yellowjacket Athletics.
File Photo provided by Student Involvement

By Emily Rein

The University of Wisconsin-Superior Cheer and Dance Team is making it through the struggles that come along with COVID-19.

In an interview, two members of Cheer and Dance reveal how the team has handled changes since the coronavirus pandemic began. The team may not be performing at any games this semester, but that hasn’t broken their spirit. Masks, Zoom meetings, and patience are all contributing factors to make sure Cheer and Dance survive.

Cheer and Dance learned over the summer that they would not be able to perform at any events in the fall of 2020. The team went from more than 10 members down to 5. COVID-19 regulations were put into place regarding practice. But, none of this discouraged the determined team.

“Social distancing and face masks are now required during practice,” Cheer and Dance Student Coach Payton Dutcher said. “We’re more lenient with people missing practice and we also have a temperature gun that we use before practice,” added Cheer and Dance Team Captain Nell Barri.

Barri also shared her biggest frustrations and offered some insight into the future. “Stunting is a huge bonding activity, which is a bummer that we can no longer do it. We’re missing out on a lot of team bonding because trust is no longer as important,” she said. Barri has been in mandatory isolation due to close contact with a COVID-19 positive individual, but she continued to meet for practice via Zoom. She isn’t the only one who has had to do this. The team is working hard to keep everyone connected.

“I’m excited for the future of Cheer and Dance. We’re using this time for extra practice to make our cheers great. When we can go back to normal, it might take a while to get more members again, but I’m optimistic,” Barri said.

Dutcher added on, saying, “I see the club continuing in the future and hopefully being able to perform at games again.