Devilettes & cheerleaders aim for same goal

Tanazia Deloney, reporter

When you are at games and you hear “Ready go!” or  “5,6,7,8.” you are either hearing the RHS Cheerleaders or the RHS Devilettes. Both the cheerleaders and devilettes are an all girl group.They have their similarities and differences.

“Cheerleaders are spirit makers who get the crowd cheering for athletic sports,”

cheerleading coach India Cruse-Griffin said. “They do tumbling and stunts, they have to condition because they have to lift girls up for stunts and they have to be conditioned to make it through a game. Devilettes are more dance and entertainment.”

Devilettes have a slight difference from the cheerleaders.

“Devilettes do not do cheers,” Devilette Instructor Michelle Meyers said. “ We do have a few basic dances with poms for games, but we are a dance team and color guard. The girls learn advanced dance, flag, rifle and saber skills to compete with the band during the summer and in IHSCGA (Indiana High School Color Guard Association) competitions during Winter Guard.”

Whether it’s creating a routine or just simply practicing there is work to be done.

“It doesn’t take very long to create routines for competition,” junior Gracie Fox said. “But it takes a while to learn the routine and everybody has a different learning pattern.”

For others it may take some time with the help of a class.

“It takes a week or two if we create the routine,” junior Evyn Duke said. “Learning [it] sometimes takes little to an hour or more, but we learn most of them during class.”

A lot of work goes into what these girls love to do.

“I take lessons to work on my tumbling and dancing outside of school,” sophomore Giselle Marsteller said. “I put in a lot of work in too. I try to put 100%, sometimes I am tired but I try to give it my all.”

To some of the girls it becomes their lives.

“I give it my all, being a Devilette is my number one priority, it always comes first,” senior Nia Wright said. “You literally eat, drink, breathe, sleep dance. It’s a full time thing, when we have breaks I don’t know what to do.”

The coaches set their expectations high for the girls.

“I expected the Devilettes to follow the rules set in the Devilette handbook, which is very strict, but required,” Meyers said. “I expect they try to always set a good example of behavior and of course work extremely hard on routines for performances and especially competitions.”

Representation of the girls is keen.

“I want the girls to be respected as a squad, and character as good ambassadors for the school, do community projects in the community,” Cruse-Griffin said. “Be proud they were part of the RHS squad and what they [the seniors] have accomplished. I expect the girls to have good grades. I want them to represent the high school the best they can.”

The most important thing is the amount of effort that is needed.

“We put in all of our effort,” freshman Haylee Parker said. “After you hit a routine completely you don’t have to do it over again. It’s like performing.”

Everyone does some type of outside work to try to improve their skills.

“Tuesday and Thursday is when we have we have practice,” Parson said. “I practice tumbling, jumping not only for cheer but for gymnastics too. I seek lessons to better myself.”

There is also that one thing that everyone wants to accomplish as an individual and as a team.

“As an individual I would like to accomplish better tumbling skills and more advanced stunting,” Marsteller said. “As a team we would like to accomplish supporting our school and supporting each other.”

Making the team feel like a safe place can also feel like an accomplishment.

“Personally I want to accomplish being able to have everyone on the team to come to me with a problem or just to talk,” senior Hannah Sluis said. “As a team we want to get the recognition for all of the hard work that nobody sees or hears.”

Even the coaches want the girls to accomplish many things.

“As a coach, I hope I can help the girls attain a higher understanding of themselves as individuals and as a team,” Myers said. “Teach them to always push to the next level and never give up. You don’t always like everyone you have to work with, but the skill to go beyond that, understand you have a common goal and to be able to work together is very rewarding. In the end realize you have made a friendship that will last forever.”

To these girls this isn’t just some squad or team it’s more like a family.

“I want to build a sisterhood,” Parker said.

There are a lot of things that go into having a team with strong bond.

“I believe the Devilettes stand for strength, loyalty, determination, and sisterhood,” Myers said. “I feel the girls strive to be the best ‘them’ everyday.”

Along with strength, determination and sisterhood the girls are also role models.

“I really just want the girls to exhibit good morals and behavior,” Meyers said. “A lot of little girls look up to them, want to be them. That can be of pressure. I also expect them to do the best they can, as long as they feel they have given it their all, we are both happy.”