‘Everyone’s included and everyone’s invited’: ADSS dance and cheer team prepare for Totem 68 | Ha-Shilth-Sa Newspaper

‘Everyone’s included and everyone’s invited’: ADSS dance and cheer team prepare for Totem 68

Port Alberni, BC

For Noelani Watts of Tseshaht, she watched her first Totem when she was in Grade 6, which inspired her to be involved in the tournament as a cheerleader.

“I just remember watching all the Totem spirit candidates and seeing the cheerleaders and being like, ‘I can't wait to be in high school’,” said Watts. “I wish I could go back to that first time watching Totem again and just get… those butterflies of all the people around you and how exciting it is.”

“I love performing for younger girls, because it makes them think, ‘Hey, maybe I could be a cheerleader one day’,” added Watts.

Leading up to Totem, which starts today, running until Saturday night in Port Alberni, Watts shared that the cheer team has been working on sharpening and cleaning up their routines.

Mia Foster of Hupačasath, also a member of the cheerleading team, added they’ve been working on routine choreography and making sure their “cheer’s nice and loud so we can get the crowd going.”

For the ADSS dance team, this year they are adding an additional routine, said Carmen Bill, of Tseshaht.

“As a dancer, usually people don't clap or cheer for you when you're on stage,” said Bill. “When you hear them, all yelling and getting excited for you dancing, that's really exciting.”

“The atmosphere of it is so cool,” shared Watts. “All the people in the audience and getting to cheer all the basketball teams on. I know, for me being a dancer for my whole life, it's exciting to be in front of a crowd of people.”

But most importantly, the girls shared that Totem has a place for everybody.

“Just making people feel comfortable being at Totem [and] making them feel like it's okay to make some noise,” said Watts. “It's okay to have a big smile on your face, we're all just there to have fun.”

“It's honestly so much fun even if you're just in the crowd,” Watts added.

“Come watch, because I don’t really know the rules of basketball but it’s still so fun to watch and be a part of,” said Bill.

“Everyone is included, and everyone is invited,” said Foster.

Share this: