Lamar cheerleaders demonstrate spirit yells at the Lamar Spirit camp held June 20-23 at the Sheila Umphrey Recreation Center.

Lamar cheerleaders demonstrate spirit yells at the Lamar Spirit camp held June 20-23 at the Sheila Umphrey Recreation Center.

The Lamar University cheer and dance teams held their second annual combined Spirit Camp for grades K-8 from June 20 – June 23 at the McDonald Gym on the Lamar campus.

Participants received instruction in techniques such as stretching, tumbling and spirit yells, as well as cheer and dance routines from the Lamar staff and current Spirit team members.

Dance Team Coordinator Brixey Blankenship-Cozad said that students can receive coaching in both cheer and dance.

“When they sign up, they’re able to take everything,” she said. “They’re grouped by school grade, and then we break them up accordingly by age and they rotate through all the classes.”

The annual camp is a mutual venture for the cheer and dance squads, exposing campers to both specialties at one venue.

“We like to do things as a total spirit team; it unites cheerleaders and dancers,” Lamar Cheer Coordinator Allison Williams said. “We really enjoy bringing the kids together in one camp.”

The Spirit team hosts an additional camp every fall, designed to give children an actual game-day experience.

“For the last five or six years, we’ve been putting on a ‘Pink Out’ clinic in October during football season,” Williams said. “The kids get to perform on the field during the game, as well as halftime, becoming an actual Lamar University cheerleader or dancer for the whole day.”

Spirit team members and coaches see the camp as a way to give back to the community.

“It’s great, I love it,” Port Neches junior and dance officer Emily Sumrall said. “I love to watch it grow. Last year we had maybe 20 campers, and this year we have 53, so the interest has grown quickly.”

Williams said that it’s gratifying to give back to the community and see the children have fun.

“It’s great to see the kids learn, to see what they aspire to be,” she said. “To want to be a cheerleader or dancer, the children think it’s cool to be able to hang out and learn from the collegiate team members.”

The camp not only raises interest in the spirit team, but also brings in needed funding for the program.

“It’s a really big fundraiser for both the cheer and dance teams,” Williams said. “The dancers use it to put on their Spring show, and the cheerleaders use the funding to go to Nationals.”

For more information, contact the Lamar Spirit Team office at (409) 880-7241 or email allison.williams@lamar.edu

Story package by UP staffer Bill Warrington

 

Learn more about Lamar University at lamar.edu

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