McALESTER — McAlester senior Taylor Burmeier grew up dancing. Dance took her all the way to McAlester’s varsity pom squad, where she competed her first three years at McAlester High School.
Wanting to try something new, Burmeier switched to cheer for her senior year.
“I like change,” Burmeier said on Oct. 17. “I don’t like to do the same thing consistently. I watched cheer — I have a bunch of friends on cheer — so I thought I’d just try something different.”
Burmeier said she started dancing when she was 4. She took classes at Angie’s Dance Plus, a studio that’s turned out multiple McAlester pom dancers, and got her first taste of performance in a tap dance recital that year.
“That was the first recital I remember being in,” Burmeier said. “I know that I was nervous, but I was also excited, because I like performing.”
Burmeier still takes seven classes at Angie’s and also teaches there. Though experienced with multiple dance styles, Burmeier said she prefers contemporary.
“It’s the most emotional, so you get to express everything,” she said.
Burmeier first tried out for pom as an eighth-grade student in the spring of 2009. She made the fall 2009 squad, then tried out and made the 2010 and 2011 squads as well, joining teams that would go on to state championships and decent showings at Nationals.
“I was very nervous,” Burmeier said of her first tryout for pom.
“It was my first year trying out, and I was also number two, so I was in the first group. So that made me even more nervous, not knowing what to expect. ... After you do the first skill, it kind of all goes away, and you feel like you have everything under control.”
Coming to cheer with a dance background, Burmeier said picking up cheerleading’s dance and movement components came easily.