Dedicated to the HATRED of all things trOJan


Audition and subtraction — The UCLA Spirit Squad Try-outs were held on Sunday, and yes, the DYNASTY continues, but there was one gut-wrenching omission that has me royally pained


Ok, let me start by saying that I have nothing but love for Mollie and her staff, and lots of respect for the selection process itself.  I understand how DIFFICULT it is to differentiate between so many beautiful, talented applicants, and I readily admit that I am NO EXPERT on cheer stunting or dance.  That being said, there was a participant on Sunday who is one of the most exotically beautiful, sweet, smart, and (seemingly) talented students in my recent memory, who will not be gracing the sidelines next season, and it just kills me.

I am not going to mention the name, because I don’t care to further highlight the EXACT situation.  I accept the fact that my lack of expertise in this field is the reason why I can’t fathom the decision.  To my layman’s eye, there was no doubt whatsoever that she belongs on the Squad.  I know that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so my opinion about her superior looks is completely subjective, but fitness is more objective, and I’m pretty certain that she was in the top percentiles on that parameter.  I guess the judges felt there were others who “performed” better, on the floor and in the interviews.  Grrr.  I ACCEPT the honest and sincere decision of the committee.  I hope you all can accept that my heart aches.

Now that I have gotten that off my chest, hopefully without offending anyone, and definitely without casting aspersions at the lovely ladies who DID make the Squad, I can tell you a little more about the event.  The biggest development in my mind was that the Dance Team remains, at least for the time being, ALL-FEMALE.

As you might remember from last year, when one male tried out for the historically not-coed Dance Team, I opined that I am old-fashioned, and adamantly prefer to keep that Team the way it has always been, traditionally.  This year, TWO males tried out, and one of them made the finals.  I will readily admit that this young man was a terrific dancer, with style, flair, and talent.

I would be okay with creating a new unit within the Spirit Squad — separate from the Dance Team — that could utilize this student’s indisputable talent.  Team him up with others that can do what he does, and create routines — and uniforms — that will showcase his abilities.  In my (admittedly biased) opinion, the moves that he displayed do not fit in with what the Dance Team does, and has been doing for as long as I can remember.  I would like to see their future conform with their tradition.  I hope you don’t think less of me for harboring this perhaps antiquated perspective.  Anyway, I’ll have at least one more year before I have to deal with the potential end of the tradition — and iconic image — that I love so much, just the way it is.

Another tradition of the Squad is camaraderie (as opposed to catty competitiveness), and that cohesive love was evidenced by the FIVE 2016 Dance Teamers in the audience.  Even though they are moving on from their days on the Team, they attended on Sunday just to root on their former teammates.  There were also at least two 2016 Cheer Squad alums there to bring moral support to their ex-colleagues.  I truly applaud this love.

I also felt a lot of love from the family members of the girls.  I don’t want to embarrass anyone by using their names, but the two Moms that sat with me, and the ladies that came and talked to me later, and the Dads that I got introduced to, all made my day, with their compliments and appreciation for what I’ve been doing.  I also appreciate the wonderful treatment I receive from Mollie and Coach Kyle, and Judges Cecilio and Delight.

I enjoyed meeting Tiphanie, who is the new Coach of the Dance Team.  I hope I can earn her trust and friendship, like I think I did with her predecessors.  I will certainly miss the Coaches who will not be returning next season, just like I will miss the Squad members who are moving on.  I know they don’t consider me part of their family, but that IS how I feel about them.  I would do just about anything for them, as I would for all the Squad Alumni with whom I’m still in contact, and I hope the girls who have just moved on know that I am here for them as well.

Anyway… It was a fun and entertaining 12 hours, despite the emotional setback that hit an hour later.  It was run efficiently and professionally, and the staff repeatedly showed their appreciation to those of us in attendance.  It is open to the public, and free, if you ever feel like you would like to experience it in person.

Here are 77 more photos from the event:  One more photo of the departing three musketeers of the Dance Team (like the one above), one of the mascots trying out, and one of some students trying out for the Yell Crew, and then 74 of the CHEER SQUAD auditions.  After I post these, I will start editing some of the 700 shots from the Dance Team portion of the try-outs, and I will post those in a separate article, as soon as I can.


"MUCH MAJESTY, ONE TRAVESTY" was published on May 8th, 2017 and is listed in Blue & Gold News, UCLA/usc/Cheerleader Photos.

Comments on "MUCH MAJESTY, ONE TRAVESTY": 3 Comments

  1. JP wrote,

    T-H. Thanks for the coverage. I agree. Perhaps there could be a separate Dance Team for males.

    Anyways, they posted the new members on the spirit squad website. It appears there may be only 1 new member on the dance team. They shrunk it back to 9 members. Perhaps u can post the new member of this elite team so we can give her a proper welcome.

    [T-H’s Note: 2 new members. Ashlee is not the same as Ashley from last year. And yeah, I’m working on pics now, and will point out the new girls (Jordan and Ashlee) with captions. Then tomorrow I will go back to Cheer Squad and label the newcomers.]

  2. Steven wrote,

    I noticed that there’s a Rachael on the spirit squad website that doesn’t match up Rachael from last year. Did she not try out as well?

    [T-H’s Note: That is correct. Rachael from last year recently decided to not return to cheer this season (in order to focus on her studies, I believe). Too bad. She was very sweet.]

  3. Frank wrote,

    I’m going to guess (also without mentioning her name) the squad member who didn’t make the 2017-18 team. If it is who I think it is, the reason is not her looks or conditioning (both outstanding). It’s because her movement was just not as precise as the others. She seemed to have a bit of a problem remembering the routines and was often a beat behind and often looked uncertain. That, said, I thought she was by far the sexiest applicant. If I’m wrong about who it is…..never mind.

    [T-H’s Note: I edited your comment slightly to keep her identity more protected. But thank you for your input. I didn’t notice the lack of precision, but like I said, I am not an expert, so I am not disagreeing with your observation. I can tell you that she is taking it in stride, showing a LOT more strength of character than I will ever possess. She is an awesome person, and I am certain that she will succeed in her future life endeavors.]

Copyright © 2007 All photos and stories herein are sole property of
Any commercial re-use without express written permission is strictly prohibited, and will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.