The Cleveland Middle School dance team will travel to Auburn University, in Auburn, Ala., Oct. 2, to perform during the halftime show at the SEC school’s football game that day.
The team will have the opportunity to practice and perform with other pom, dance, drill teams and spirit squads from the states of Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Arkansas.
The CMS Raiderettes will dance in front of more than 80,000 Auburn Tiger fans during the halftime show as Auburn plays Louisiana-Monroe at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn.
The CMS Dance Team Raiderettes consist of 31 talented and dedicated sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders. The CMS dance team brings spirit to seventh- and eighth-grade CMS athletic events, pep rallies and various assemblies.
Recently, the dance team has been actively involved in many community events. On Aug. 6, the talented young ladies visited the residents of Signature HealthCare of Cleveland. On Aug. 28, the team performed game routines and band dances at the Lite Mix 104.1 Family Expo.
On Saturday, the young ladies were to perform for the second time this year at the Mainstreet Cruise-In Car Show in downtown Cleveland.
In a few weeks on Oct. 3, the CMS dancers will be showing off their artistic skills at the Nillie Bipper Creative arts Festival.
Ashylyn Tillotson, a CMS Dance Team captain, says, “Being asked to dance in the community means a lot because it shows that our community is proud of us and wants to show us off.”
The CMS Dance Team Raiderettes also have a competitive squad that will begin facing off against other teams in November. The competitive team will travel to Nashville, Atlanta, Ringgold, Ga., Hixson, Sevierville and Knoxville to compete in the next few months. Currently the Raiderettes are the TSSAA hip-hop and jazz champions, UDA grand overall dance champions, Jamfest grand junior champions, Southeastern Spirit Association grand overall dance champions and the 2010 Disney World AmeriDance InterNational Junior High hip-hop, jazz, and pom champions, as well as the Ameridance International grand jazz champions.
Mary Maddox, captain of the CMS Dance Team, says “Competing is the best feeling. We have competed for years, and we are so proud when we have done so well that the competition companies call our coach to make sure we are coming back.”
Kelly Ann Owens, sixth-grade math teacher at CMS and an avid dancer herself, is the CMS Dance Team coach. She is an 11-year coach. Owens is assisted by college students Haleigh May and Jaymee Wilkinson, both former members of the prestigious CMS Dance Team. Choreographers are Will Linder, Jasmine Horn, and Susan Dyer. CMS dancers are Brooke Humble, Kimmy Morris, Sara Riggle (co-captain), Sonia Heming, Maddie Pemberton (co-captain), Marisa Rogers, Madeline Hoops, Emma Waddel, Brynnan Miller, Ashlyn Tillotson (captain), Adria Smith, Joeli Poole, Tenlie Logsdon, Ana Rocha, Blaire Brooks, Emily Hicks, Mary Maddox (captain), Kim Buckner, Erin Cooper, Abby Brown, Taylar Hooker, Gabrielle Thornton, Breanna Long, Hallie Hughes, Annie Hobbs, Ashley Hamilton, Jada Blackwell, Taylor Allison, Chloe Baggett, Josey McCluskey, and Jessica Davis.
Owens is very proud of her team and says, “They work very, very hard every day in practice, and it pays off. These girls are so disciplined, spirited, and driven. I am so glad that we get the opportunity to share our talents with our community and other communities as well in other states. My brother, Dr. John Owens, is a graduate of Auburn University, and I cannot wait to share the talent I have here at CMS on my dance team with his alma mater!”