Wednesday, December 19, 2007

WHS Cheerleaders Spend a Day with Clippers Spirit Dance Team 

Posted by James at 7:44 AM ET

By: Lanette Cornford
The Southwest Voice
Ten West High School spirit leaders from Southwest Bakersfield were given the experience of a lifetime. They traveled to Pioneer Valley High School in Santa Maria, where they spent the day learning dance routines from five members of the Los Angeles Clippers Spirit Dance Team.

These women are great role models for the girls and have extensive educations in dance. It was a great opportunity for our West High girls.

Kelley Farrell is a first-year member of the Clippers Spirit. She has been on high school and competitive dance teams. She graduated from Cal State Fullerton with a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies. She was a Disney dancer for three years and also danced for television and film. In addition to her role on the Clippers Spirit team she is a project manager for a lighting and manufacturing company.

Shannon Reznick is originally from Houston, Texas. She graduated from Cal State Long Beach with a bachelor’s degree in dance where she was a member of the Long Beach State Dance Team. She has been a Clippers Spirit dance team member for four years. Currently Reznick works as a kindergarten teacher.

LA Clippers Spirit Squad
West High Cheerleaders and the LA Clippers Spirit Squad

Tiffany C. graduated from UC Irvine with degrees in sociology and educational studies. She was a competitive song leader in high school and was also a college cheerleader and dancer. She also danced for the American Basketball Association. She is in her third year as an instructor for the United Spirit Association and also works as a high school algebra teacher at Santa Margarita High School in Orange County.

Ashley Ramirez is in her fourth year as an instructor with the United Spirit Association. She has been a with the Clippers Spirit for two years. She danced in the Block Party Bash parade and also plays Pluto at Disneyland.

Lynae Hashimoto graduated from UC Irvine with a degree in sociology. This is her second year as a member of the Clippers Spirit. She is originally from the bay area and currently works at a Mercedes Benz dealership in Newport Beach.

There were 86 girls from Bakersfield and the central coast in attendance ranging from the first grade through the collegiate level. The one-day clinic ran from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and various styles of dance were taught — everything from basic technique, jazz and hip-hop to advanced levels.

This was something special for me to do with the girls because when I was in high school I had the chance to do the same thing with the Laker Girls. It’s still really cool to look back at those pictures and think, “I performed with the Los Angeles Laker Girls. How many other high school cheerleaders can say that?” Now, we’ve been able to give our school’s cheerleaders a similar experience that they’ll always remember.

With upcoming cheer tryouts in December for West High squads, it was a great lead into the basketball season ahead. It really got them excited and it was great for them to see what kind of talent it takes to be a cheerleader at the professional level.

LA Clippers Spirit Squad
West High cheerleader Corrina Perez gets a T-shirt signed by Clipper dance team member Shannon Reznic

“To have the chance to bring the caliber of dancers like the Clippers Spirit dance team to the central coast for an instructional day is an opportunity that cheer and song leaders in this area rarely get to participate in. We are looking to do something like this again in the spring, and continue to bring the best dancers in the NBA as instructors,” said Gerry Starowicz, cheer adviser at Pioneer Valley High School. “The Clippers dance team members really made this day worthwhile, not only with their talent, each one was extremely personable and really made each participant, no matter what grade they were in, welcome and encouraged them all to do their best. It was a fun day for all involved.”

A special thanks to Shannon Hillan, my partner and co-adviser at West for helping to make the trip possible!

After the clinic, the West High spirit leaders made their way up to Pismo Beach for an early dinner at Splash Café and to dig their feet in the sand.

Online home of the Clippers Spirit Squad here.

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