The Best of CMSD: What the News Doesn’t Cover

Last night I had the privilege of observing the year-end championship competition for the Cleveland Schools’ elementary grade’s Military Drill Corps and Hi-Stepper Cheerleading teams in the large gym at John Hay High School. Who even knew there was such an activity in our schools? I didn’t.

These were 6th, 7th and 8th graders: four drill teams and six cheerleading teams from 10 different CMSD schools. It was the first sweltering night of the year and the gym was packed. I estimated at least 800 parents, friends and family turned out to fill the bleachers top to bottom on either side of the gym floor: a noisy, happy, proud crowd.

Two rounds of high energy, precision competition were interspersed with awards for perfect attendance and grade averages at or above 3.0. Representatives of the military were there, in dress uniform, to judge the drill teams. Dance, gymnastics and cheerleading professionals judged the Hi-Steppers. The music was loud, and there was enough wattage in the smiles of kids and parents to light the gym without electricity.

I was particularly impressed with the drill team from Marion Sterling Elementary School, which won first place. Led by a young girl who barked orders like a Master Sergeant, the team marched, saluted, handled wooden rifles and stepped to rhythmic and syncopated commands with straight backs, serious faces and incredible confidence.

The first and second place winners of the cheerleading competition (Forest Hill Parkway and Alexander G. Bell respectively) created a really hard choice for the judges. I couldn’t pick my favorite. I’m convinced the girls all had springs in their shoes and rubber bands for hamstrings. Hi-stepping indeed! The choreography was creative, the complex rhythmic patterns were impressive and the unison high-kick lines brought smiles and cheers from me as well as the audience.

I left the gym after a good two hours of clapping my hands raw and feeling that I would never be able to relax my face from grinning. A very good night.

1 Comment

  1. Ms.Wannette Demore

    That is a great ideas the students of cleveland ,i would like to help out if i may because i used to be and advisor for military drill team at Thomas Jefferson the old school. I help choreography the drill steps we was rewarded 2nd Place In the CityWIDEMiliatry Drill Team Competition 1995. And so on now iam planning to start my own program for City Of Cleveland teens program Arts,Military drill team, cheerleader team to represent our city and community.I plan and hope to keep our children off these street,hopefull stop dropout.And just “GIVE” these “TEENS” something to look forward. My plans is to have them promote our t-shirt,draw and design them on computer,stage performance work behind the scene of the stage,peer group everyone whose join our team called” STEPPIN 2 Victory INC.” I started for (8) years now and iam still pushing to look forward for talent iam and “Entreprenuer” tryin g to start my own small bussiness.I love working with children and teen.My drill team purpose is to promote spirit and group representing the Middle &High School throughout the City Of Cleveland Community,State and Nation.We give instructional and performance activiti are affirmatively directed toward developement of individual students improvement,resulting in a highly skill performance group.Each student be selected by grades point average of 2.0 or BETTER noF”S must be cognizant of the time commiment and individual dedication demanded in striving for personal improvement as a teamwork through responsibilty and discilpline. Our students of Cleveland will be exposed to teaching and practice and performance opportunities that will result in the development of responsibility ,self-resepct,ans encorage honest effort in striving for “EXCELLENCE”.This will help the students to develop character,teamwork,and “PRIDE” in “QUALITY” performance and physically fitness by emphasizing the maintenance of high stardard.

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