By Sydney McDermott, Copy Editor
“I joined the majorettes because I wanted to be a part of something in high school,” junior Lindsey Scholz said. She definitely accomplished her goal as this year on April 8-12, she and other members of the Stepper-ettes are going to a worldwide competition in Holland. She is going with other members of her senior pom group such as senior Kayla Klinkacek, sophomore Damiana Curtis, and freshman Allison Kilzer to Worlds for their Batman vs. Joker pom routine.
The worlds competition is held in Eindhoven, Holland, and many different teams and individuals from all around the world come to compete in pom and dance twirl. It’s held every two to three years, and the last competition was in Norway during 2018.
“The last time our studio was in Worlds was Italy 2015, which I was not a part of, but I remember watching early in the morning from home and I was so excited when they won and hoped one day I would get to compete at Worlds,” Klinkacek says.
There are many different levels of competition such as state and finals, but none of them have a requirement to move on to the next level, except for the world competition.
“We go to the state competition to get the experience of performing in front of a crowd and the feedback of judges,” Scholz says. “But worlds is the only one with a requirement that you have to get first place in finals if you’re in a group event and third place or better in individuals, which we did,” Scholz says.
The routine the Stepper-ettes are performing this year is Batman vs Joker where half of the stepper-ettes perform as Batman and the other half perform as Joker. The routine contains a fight between the comic hero and villain and is part of the pom section.
“Our Batman vs Joker pom routine is a high energy routine packed with all different parts like waves, lifts, hip hop, and a slow-motion part,” Klinkacek says. “Every time we get to run through it, it feels like we have just run a mile but there’s nothing quite like our routine,” she says.
Everyone practices the routine Wednesday evenings at the studio for a few hours and even sometimes on the weekends for longer. Klinkacek says she tries to run through the whole routine four times at home every day by herself to make sure she is ready for competition. “Baton requires a lot of practice, which is mostly just repetition to get muscle memory,” Scholz says. “That way if we get nervous before a performance, we can let memory take over and we can perform exactly as we had practiced,” she says.
While both Klinkacek and Scholz have been practicing as much as they can, they still have jitters about the upcoming competition.
“Competitions are nerve-wracking because you only have one chance to do the best you can,” Scholz says. “The judges watch for even the smallest of mistakes. And the worst part is sometimes the music won’t work or will stop mid-performance, and you either continue the routine or you have to start over completely. I hope that doesn’t happen to us this year,” she says.
Scholz is both a part of the Stepper-ettes and she is also a part of the majorettes team here at Millard South. Scholz explains the Stepper-ettes as more competition based and the majorettes are more performance based for sports games and halftime shows.
Scholz is a co-captain with junior Grace Lankton this year for the majorettes and Scholz says she really enjoys being someone the girls can look up to, but it comes with a lot of responsibility and a lot of pressure.
“Being co-captain is a little unnerving because there is a lot of responsibility that comes with the title. The team is mostly a democracy; we all put in our ideas and then Grace and I will make the final decision. But being a co-captain pushes me to want to do my best for my team, as when I’m by myself I don’t try as hard because no one is depending on me,” Scholz says.
Scholz says she enjoys performing at competitions and practicing the routine to ensure her and her whole group is smooth and synchronized to get the winning medal.
“I like the challenge of pushing myself in a routine to do the best I can before competing,” Scholz says. “I feel like being a part of a team is less stressful because it is a better feeling to have other people around me when performing. It takes the pressure off of being the center of attention,” she said.
Klinkacek said she also really enjoys being part of this team and feels like everyone has become family to her after all these years practicing and performing together.
“Baton is my second family; they are people you can always go to whether it be to solve a problem or just someone to talk to. I am so glad that I get to twirl and dance with my 60 best friends, sisters, and our one brother. I don’t know how some people go through life without twirling. I am just excited to be doing what I love with the people that I love. I hope to bring home the gold for the United States,” Kilnkacek said.