McALESTER — Growing up in McAlester, Kaylee Harvanek spent her Friday nights at Hook Eales Stadium watching the Buffaloes.
More accurately, she spent parts of her Friday nights watching the Buffs. Because a lot of the time, she’d watch the sidelines and McAlester’s Pom squad.
“I always just wanted to be one of those girls,” Harvanek said Tuesday. “To be able to go down there and do what I love, and also watch one of my favorite sports at the same time and support the boys.”
Harvanek said she’s been dancing for 16 years. She spent seven years with Angie’s Dance Plus, switched to Pam’s Academy of Dance for eight more, and now takes classes at both studios.
“My first year of dance, I was on stage, and it was a tap dance,” Harvanek. “It was the first time I’d ever been on stage in a recital, and I was scared to death. I started crying and I ran off stage. My mom finally talked me into going back out there and finishing the dance, and after that, I never wanted to come off the stage.”
Though experienced with multiple styles of dance, Harvanek said her favorite is contemporary.
“To me, contemporary shows a lot of raw emotion, and it’s a really easy way for me to show that emotion,” Harvanek said. “I can connect with the music really well, and I love to be able to tell the story of something when I dance and try to get others to understand what I’m feeling.
“It’s the easiest way to say everything I need to say.”
Harvanek first tried out for Pom in the spring of her eighth-grade year at Puterbaugh Middle School. McAlester picks a new Pom squad every year, and even veteran Pom dancers have to try out each spring.