Varsity cheerleading goes to KAIAC


Varsity cheerleading goes to KAIAC

On Feb 4, the varsity cheer team and the two coaches—Hana Jeon and Nydia Hernandez—traveled to Chadwick International School for their KAIAC competition.

Seven international schools competed, including six varsity teams and three junior varsity teams. Starting from 9 a.m., each team was given ten minutes to warm up and practice in the main gym. While other teams occupied the main gym, other facilities such as the dance room and smaller gyms were open for use as well.

The competition officially started at 11 a.m., opening with the junior varsity team performances. Each team’s routine consisted of three main parts: jumps and tumbling, chants and stunts, and dance. The SIS varsity team was the third first level group to perform their routine.

“We started our routine very early in the year,” Melissa Kim (11), varsity cheerleading co-captain, said. “Each captain was in charge of choreographing different parts of the routine, and we started making the routine even before the season officially started. Beginning early October, we took turns throughout the year teaching and rehearsing the parts.”

Prior to the competition, three students from each school were chosen to be All-KAIAC cheerleaders. These All-KAIAC cheerleaders represented their school and had to memorize a short chant and dance to perform individually. 

Once all school performances were over, the All-KAIAC cheerleaders were called into groups of either three or four. Each group was called onto the mat, where each cheerleader first introduced themselves and did a jump before performing the routine together. The KAIAC judges examined each cheerleader, and later chose 12 out of the 21 All-KAIAC cheerleaders to give an award to.

Before announcing the winners, the KAIAC organization invited the Korean National Cheerleading Team to show their phenomenal performance, leaving students, coaches, and parents awestruck.

“The atmosphere was relatively tense at first, but everyone showed great sportsmanship and supported one another,” Jimin Park (9), varsity cheerleader, said. “It was everyone’s first time going to KAIAC, and we were all surprised that we mostly had fun instead of being nervous and pressured the whole day.”

The KAIAC judges selected two junior varsity teams and three varsity teams to give awards to. Though the SIS cheer team was unable to place, two All-KAIAC cheerleaders—Eunbin Macklin (10) and Erin J. Choi (12) were able to receive the All-KAIAC award.

“Though we came sixth place, this year has definitely been one of the most memorable,” Jasmine Kim (12), varsity cheer co-captain, said. “I feel as though our team really came together because we had to overcome so many obstacles, including people getting COVID-19, injured, leaving the team, and more. We all devoted a lot of time and effort, and I hope that next year—even after the seniors leave—the girls will continue to improve and receive better results.”