Mystique Enters Competition Season


Media by Jacob Robinson

Varsity Mystique performs their halftime routine at the MHS vs. Seckman districts game to support their team. “We love cheering and dancing for our Mustangs,” Allison Markus, head coach, said. “Ask any of the girls, their favorite thing is football games.”

After a long fall season of sideline cheering, Mystique enters their competition season tomorrow with their first meet at Lindbergh High School.

“We do totally separate routines for games and competitions,” Hannah Vishion, senior, said. “We are required to know the routines really well, and we make sure to clean them up at the beginning of the season so we can focus on competition later on.”

Junior Mystique, jv and varsity teams will be attending the competition. Varsity Mystique will perform two routines: Pom and Jazz.

Vishion said team captains choreograph halftime routines, whereas they hire professional choreographers to coordinate their competition routines.

“The dances for competition are a lot more intense and they take a lot more physical and mental strength,” Vishion said.

Allison Markus, head coach, focuses her team on being fully prepared when their first competition arrives. They will compete in a series of regional events, the National competition and then finally State.

“This year’s team is very motivated,” Markus said. “ They have been able to keep the goal in mind and push through to help us get to where we want to be come competition time.”

Markus said the point of gameday cheering is entertainment. And while the team wants to be performing at their best all the time, the routines they perform for competitions are more difficult and require focus and concentration.

“There are a lot of outside distractions that can be hard on any teenager,” Markus said. “As a coach, I couldn’t be more proud of them.”

Emerson Greenblatt, junior, has competed on Mystique all three years she’s been at MHS. She is excited to be on the team again and is looking forward to being able to show off her passion for dance and competing.

“Gamedays are more relaxed and fun,” Greenblatt said. “Competitions season is a whole different world, and those dances have harder skills and require more stamina and preparation.”

Greenblatt said basketball games can be vastly different from football because they often practice their competition routines during halftime. It can be challenging to practice their routines in front of the audience, often worrying about making mistakes in front of others.

The team goes through different processes of preparation for each environment they perform in, taking longer to stretch and warm up for competitions because of the more difficult and intense tricks and moves. They practice in different locations, like World Class All-Star Dance Studio, with specialty equipment that allows them to anticipate the true conditions of a competition.

“We definitely get to shine at competitions,” Greenblatt said. “These last few years have been difficult because of COVID, but this year we’re ready to bring back what Mystique is actually made of.”