Cheer and dance team host first OPHS showdown post-pandemic

Students’ teams compete against each other to win first place’s prize


The showdown counted with presentations from the Co-Ed Volleyball, Performing Arts Department, Staff, Varsity Football and JV Football.

On Oct. 7, the Oak Park High School cheer and dance teams held a dance fundraiser where co-ed volleyball, the Performing Arts Department, staff, varsity football and JV football all performed dance routines that were judged by a panel and the audience.

The rules were simple: every routine was required to have a dance portion, a stunt, a clip from the app Tik Tok, some form of costume and a prop. Routines were choreographed and facilitated by members of the cheer and dance team, who also participated in the dance.

“I think it was a great experience,” said Lívia Lopes, an exchange student at OPHS. “From Brazil, where I come from, we don’t really have a lot of school events besides some games – like rallies with all the grades – so I think it’s really nice to have this opportunity and I’m really happy.”

Co-ed volleyball’s mashup of Lady Gaga’s “Telephone” and Nicki Minaj’s “Super Freaky Girl” was memorable along with the winners of the night, JV football’s “Jingle Bell Rock” dance based off the movie “Mean Girls.”

Copying the dance from the famous early 2000s movie “Mean Girls,” the crew even had someone stand with a poster telling the crowd to “sing” as the “Jingle Bell Rock” song played.

They went all out with Santa hats as a homage to the “Jingle Bell Rock” dance and clips from the movie itself.

“I thought the event was really fun,” said JV Cheer Captain Holly Beren, who performed with JV Football. “The practices were my favorite part. Just getting to know everyone that I didn’t even know.”

All teams were instructed by the cheer and dance teams with no help from the coaches. The varsity cheer coach, Mara Smialek, was pleased with the performance. 

“The cheer and dance team athletes taught the showdown teams the basic fundamentals of cheer,” Smialak said.

The audience declared the event a hit, some saying they would return to another fundraiser of the same premise.

“I would definitely come to another one,” said junior grader Sofia Doyle.