STATE CHAMPS: Pom and All-Male bringing home the ‘ship

The CFHS dance teams performed at the State Competition last Friday, and let’s just say, “They didn’t even have to try. It’s always a good time.” Pom and All-Male took first place in their classes.

The girls Pom routine, choreographed by Shannon Chrusciel, marks the first time Cedar Falls has ever won a state championship in the Pom Division. The Tigers finished with an average judges score of 66.38 (70 points possible) in Class XIII, finishing .75 points ahead of second place Sioux City North. Next season the dance team loses five seniors off of the State Champion-winning Pom routine.

“It feels amazing,” senior dancer Halle Benson said. “I think it feels even better that we made history. We went out there, and we knew we did amazing as a team. One thing we didn’t have that other teams did was technique as a team, and I think we went out and did it sharper and had more energy than any other team. We just worked our butts off, and we knew we did our absolute best.”

The boys All-Male routine won the Large School All-Male category for the third straight year, completing “The Dynasty.” The dance was choreographed by Coach Alyssa Nolte and Leah Mills.

Not only did they bring home the title, they were also selected as one of three Judges Choice Awards which are given by the judges to the three best routines. This is the first time Cedar Falls has ever won a Judges Choice Award  in any category.

“I feel like I’ve been through it all with the whole All-Male team. I was on it the first year, and we got third. We’ve just gotten better every year after that. After State this year, I was speechless because I didn’t know how to express how much I love the All-Male guys and how proud I am of the girls Pom Routine. I’m going to miss it  a ton,” senior captain Raud Kashef said.

By winning this, they are now elgible to dance at the State Basketball Championship game at Wells Fargo Arena in March. “The Males” also walked to Zombie Burger for lunch where they performed their entire routine outside the front window while waiting to be seated. They played a pivotal role in earning the Sportsmanship Award back-to-back years.

The Hip-Hop routine, which also featured all-male dancer and state soloist Richard Lam, earned a Division I rating but placed seventh out of 11 teams, not earning a trophy. They scored an average 63.25 points, just one point behind fifth place Davenport West.

The Coed routine took fourth place but didn’t receive a trophy because only the top three teams in Large School Coed received trophies. The routine was choreographed by coach Alyssa Nolte and featured a “Wild” theme. Most of the routine was performed to the song “Born to be Wild” by Steppenwolf. The routine received an average score of 60.5, barely making the cut for a Division 1 rating. They fell just 2.33 points short of third place Ames. “Even though we didn’t place and did the best we could, we had Richard [Lam], which made it really fun too,” senior captain Allie Armstrong said.

The Kick Routine failed to earn a Division I rating, with an average score of 58.5. Teams must have a minimum average score of 60 points to earn a Division I rating, and to place, teams must have a Division I rating.

Cedar Falls wasn’t done bringing home trophies yet though. For the second straight year the Tiger dance team was awarded the Sportsmanship Award. A large part of that award goes to Lam who printed off slips of paper with a poem he had written wishing other teams luck and encouraging them on their upcoming routines. The All-Male and Coed guys then handed the poems out to girls teams and used them as conversation starters. Junior Timmy Sevcik proved to be the ladies man at State; he could frequently be found with other teams.

All State Routines can be found online; they will also each be performing at halftime of home basketball games throughout the season. To learn which days each routine is performing, visit the dance team’s webpage at

This Friday at halftime of the men’s basketball game, the fans  can watch both of the winning routines — Pom and All-Male.

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