Cheer And Dance Team Also Took Championship Journey


Jillian Aversano, Staff Writer

Playoffs! The Brookdale men’s basketball team not only made the playoffs, they became national champions. They didn’t make this journey alone. Brookdale’s cheer and dance club/team watched the men and women’s basketball teams all season put in so much hard work and dedication. The cheer and dance team cheered them on through wins and losses all season.

This group of girls at Brookdale is directed and coached by Katrina Thornton. The team cheers on the sidelines as well as performing a halftime dance between the 2nd and 3rd quarter of the boys basketball games.

During the one-minute time outs the team performs dances they have prepared and choreographed by the girls on the team.During the 30 second timeouts they perform stunts or any special skills/tricks they have. The girls on the team choreograph their own dances and halftimes along with the help of their dedicated coach.The team practices about three times a week preparing dances, stunting, and trying new tricks and flips.

The team also attends Action Gymnastics every week to practice skills and learn new stunts and tricks.“I have been doing gymnastics since I was little and was nervous because Brookdale does not have a gymnastics team. But gladly I use my skills to cheer and have had such a great time this season,” said Tessa Russo, an 18-year-old business major from Middletown.

“Brookdale’s cheer and dance team gave me somewhere to keep dancing after high school. I love dancing and I have been since I was a little girl,” said Rachel Dzurina, a 20-year-old business major from Matawan.“I was new to cheer this year, but I absolutely love it. I love all the girls and the games are so exciting to watch,” said Shannon Jones, an 18-year-old undecided Brookdale student from Matawan.

The men and women of the team may compete at local competitions this year as well. They also practice during their off season in the summer.In September, the club holds clinics and all are welcome. There are no official tryouts for their game team but there is for their competition team. If interested feel free to contact Coach Katarina Thorton, [email protected], 732-673-6332.

The team can be followed on Instagram, @brookdale_cheer.