Two PHS students share their experiences with their sport and All-State Spirit
Kolby Crichton and Anna Smith pose for a picture while waiting for team results.
Kolby Crichton and Anna Smith pose for a picture while waiting for team results.
Vicki Walsh

On January 26, 2024, Powell High School’s Cheerleaders and Dance Team headed to Casper for the State Spirit Competition. Two of those athletes auditioned to be an All-State athlete and got the position. Kolby Crichton and Anna Smith talk about their passions and how the process of auditioning went. 

Question: When did you start cheerleading/dancing?

Kolby Crichton: [My] first year cheerleading was eighth grade. I had friends in there that more or less kind of peer pressured me into it because they thought I might be good, so yeah that’s fun.

Anna Smith: I started dance when I was like three, but I really just started because my mom signed me up and I liked to roll around the living room. I quit dancing for a long time, and then I started up again for real in sixth grade.

Question: What is your motivation for cheerleading/dancing?

Crichton: My biggest motivation for cheerleading currently is the team itself. Just everybody trying to work together to accomplish the big routines and just cheering on the whole school and any sports activities or whatever we are doing. It’s just fun to be there.

Smith: I just have high expectations for myself, and I have a lot of goals I want to meet. I feel like our team always works so hard and the feeling of winning is always so good. We are just motivated to feel that feeling again.

Question: What was your audition process to be an All-State Dancer/Cheerleader?

Crichton: The audition process started with an application of what places we were stunting in, so like basing, back squat, wire, stuff like that. Then some of the tumbling that we might be able to do and just other small things about cheer. After that was a Zoom audition, where we had some judges recording us over Zoom, we just had to do a couple stunts, a cheer dance, tumbling, and our jumps and kicks to kind of show off what we can do.

Smith: The audition process was pretty weird actually … I’ve auditioned for a lot of things and it was like nothing I’ve ever done before. We were sent a link to a video of some dancers at [University of Wyoming] doing some choreography to a song that was like a minute long or something like that. We just had to learn it from our homes, so I just learned it in my living room. Then we set a date, and we had to do a Zoom video with a person from UW, and they critiqued us on our level of difficulty and how well we executed the choreography they gave us.

Both All-State members expressed their time given to preparing for their Zoom call. Working for it in all their free time to make it into muscle memory and perfect it.

Question: Do you plan to continue being a cheerleader/dancer after high school?

Crichton: Depending on where I go to college, I would like to try and stay cheerleading. Some colleges like Northwest here don’t have cheer, unfortunately, so if I do end up going here, I probably won’t [cheer]  until I’m at a separate school.

Smith: I really don’t think I’ll be able to just stop because it is something I’ve done every day for as long as I can really remember. I just love it so much. I’m hoping to possibly do it in college, either at UW or the University of Wisconsin. If I don’t do dance team at Wyoming, then I would probably try to minor in dance and eventually coach dance one day.

Question: How do you think your team will do this year?

Crichton: Currently, I think our game day routine is getting better and better every day, so I think we could place pretty high if we just keep working at it. [Our] stunt routine we are still working really hard on that, so I think we will make it in probably top three at least.

Smith: I actually have really high hopes and high expectations for state. I think that we are gonna surprise a lot of people, and I really believe we are going to do really, really well.

Question: Is there anything else you would like to add about your team?

Crichton: I mean, thanks, a big thanks to my team, because they’re my supporters and the ones that helped me get where I am. Without the coaches teaching me how to do everything, without the team, I quite literally could not do it.

Smith: I’m really proud of everyone, even Coach K(Koritnik) because she’s new to all of it, and I hope that the dance team grows in the future.

The Dance Team placed fifth in 3Ahip-hop and got runner-up for their 3A jazz routine. The Cheerleading Squad placed fifth in 3A game day and third in 4A stunt routine.

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