Boys cheerleading returns to homecoming week

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Photo by Kelsie Chong

Seniors "weehaw" at the end of their performance during Boys Cheerleading, Nov. 2, 2011. Each grade level showcased a group of boys and their most creative dance moves in front of their peers and a panel of judges as part of Spirit Week. The photo gallery above shows the competition. The slideshow above that shows costumes from Tuesday's Wind Day and today's Water Day.

Amanda Lee

By Kelsie Chong, features co-editor

With a little bit of attitude, fancy footwork and rhythm-bumping music, the lunchtime activity–boys cheerleading–returned today, Nov. 2.

In boys cheerleading, males from each grade level choreograph their own dance routine to captivate the judges and show their class spirit.

Because of sudden rain, students made their way into the dining hall from the initial location outside on the quad.

“Rain or shine, we’re still gonna have some fun,” said Kaleihoku Kubota, student body vice president.

Junior Sai Furukawa thought that the rain was a setback for boys cheerleading because of the cramped new location. “Everyone was standing up, and I couldn’t see. I had to stand in the back,” he said.

With their mix tape of songs including Pop Lock and Drop It by Huey and Teach Me How to Dougie by Cali Swag, the freshmen went up first. Though they didn’t have coordinated costumes, the audience could see that they had some moves prepared including several different formations and holding up signs promoting their class.

Sophomores followed right after wearing plain orange shirts, representing their class color. The highlight of their routine was when one of the boys, Rusty Hue Sing, broke out of the others who had circled around him and started krumping intensely to the loud cheers of an appreciative audience.

Juniors accessorized their personalized purple shirts with purple bandanas, hats and sunglasses. After a brief introduction, the boys invited the audience to chant E Ku Mau Mau with them followed by an enjoyable choreographed display of coordinated popping and locking.

The senior class capped everything off with their fiery rimmed t-shirts. They showed their senior status through their complex routine that incorporated everything from real cheers and two-sided multi-part signs to their final song 2012 by Jay Sean.

Many of the students were excited to see that boys cheerleading was part of the homecoming activities again. Senior participant Ikaika Camanse said that he was “very happy” to be a part of boys cheerleading because it is his senior year, and he wouldn’t have the opportunity again.

Senior Wyatt Bartlett was also glad. “My favorite part of it [boys cheerleading] is seeing all my classmates show off their swag,” he said.

Boys cheerleading was discontinued two years ago after “inappropriate incidents” such as stunts and “vulgar” moves, said Abby Okazaki, student body treasurer.

In order to reinstate it, ASKSM president Christopher Kim wrote a proposal. “We met a lot with the administration this past summer,” Okazaki said. They eventually came to a compromise.

This year, the judges were Ms. Levi Mason, Mr. Robert Laxson, Mr. Keali’i Mossman, Ms. Nalani Kaaa, and Ms. Kato Mataele. Each judge was given a rubric to evaluate the students’ performance. “Categories included costume, number of participants, originality in movements, uniform, enthusiasm of crowd and overall presentation,” chemistry teacher Mr. Laxson said.

Okazaki, a senior, hopes that her class takes home the win this year. “The boys worked really hard, and everyone seemed so synchronized, but all classes did a good job,” she said.

To prepare for today’s performance, the seniors held numerous practices on weekends and during lunch. “It was pretty crazy,” Camanse said.

Though the seniors seem confident, no one’s ready to write off any of the classes. “I think the juniors will win because they were more original,” Furukawa said.

“We practiced a lot,” junior James Krueger said. He said that junior Kamaka Keawekane and his father were a big help at rehearsals.

While all students are pulling for their own classes to win, the ultimate decision is left to the judges. The results of the boys cheerleading competition will be announced on Nov. 5, 2011, at the varsity homecoming game.