Lopes transition to Stunt
By: Julie Laugel/GCU Club Sports Writing Staff
From Spirit to Stunt.
Although they did not have any opportunities to compete in the 2020-21 season, the Grand Canyon University Club Spirit team used their time to fundraise, bond as a team, and rehearse new routines as they transition from spirit to stunt.
In the past, the Lopes have focused more on traditional show routines, where they choreograph their own routines with unique elements. Now in shifting to stunt, all teams are given predetermined, identical routine levels and are judged on which team executes the routines best.
“We focused on working on those routine levels, and we were able to get halfway through the eight total routines,” said Lopes’ Head Coach Alex Messana. “Two of those routines will carry over to next year, so we already know them and feel like we’re a step ahead.”
On top of COVID restrictions and transitioning to stunt, the Lopes also faced the obstacle of having a young squad.
“About half the team had previous experience, and then the other half were coming from different sports and had athletic backgrounds, but it was still something completely new,” said Messana. “Since we’re a young team, we were just trying to get down the fundamentals.”
The Lopes started on the fundamentals with virtual trainings and workouts at the beginning of the season. They would also practice the prerecorded routines individually, and then come together to virtually go over the routines.
What was once tedious was now refreshing and exciting.
“Because of the COVID atmosphere, coming to practice was a highlight for a lot of the athletes each week,” said Messana. “They were happy to be with friends in a social setting to work on routines that were fun and enjoyable.”
The team also participated in fundraising events, such as working at the local Aloha Spirit Championships, a youth all-star cheer competition, helping with crowd management and video production. To wrap up the season, the Lopes also held a team bowling banquet to bond and hand out individual awards.
“I really had a great group this season, and even with all the uncertainties, they were almost always all there and really worked well together,” said Messana. “I’m excited for next year to hopefully not have all the COVID restrictions in place, and my number one goal is to compete in a stunt event.”
Interested in GCU Club Spirit? Contact Head Coach Alex Messana for more information!