Team: Calyx All-Girls, SMJK Katholik
Celebrity supporter: Dennis Yin
One of the first questions YouTube star and dancer Dennis Yin asked when he met the Calyx All-Girls was “How many V-situps do you do per warm-up?”
It’s not a strange thing to ask, considering that Yin used to be a cheerleader (shout-out to CHARM All-Stars!) about 10 years ago.
The girls, eager to impress their CHEER celebrity supporter, explained their entire training routine, before launching into the actual routine that ended in an enthusiastic “DENNIS!” Calyx All-Girls finished the choreography back in April, and have been perfecting it ever since, but there were still some improvements to be made, said Yin.
“I noticed they got tired in the second half of their routine,” he said. “It was also clear that about half of the team are new, so they will have to train very hard to catch up with the seniors.”
His sentiments were echoed by team captain Yim Hor Yew, 16. “We lost our stamina halfway through so Yin advised us to do more full-out routines with jumps, tumbling and stunts”.
However, Yin has full confidence in the team’s ability to do well. “I know their coach (Tan Yee Ming). She was my team captain back in the day,” he said. “I know she will push them to their limits, so I can’t wait to see how much improvement they will show during the finals!”
He was also impressed by the team’s level of skill. “I haven’t been keeping up with CHEER because my work takes me out of the country a lot. So while I knew that cheerleading levels are increasing, I didn’t know how much until today.”
The team members themselves were plenty impressed with their celebrity supporter, who sportingly goofed around with them both on and off camera, even doing a few backflips to wild applause.
But it wasn’t all fun and games. When Yin found out CHEER 2015 would be a difficult one for Yim as it would be her first one without her mother, who sadly passed away last October, he did his best to give her extra motivation.
“The pressure won’t be easy for her at all, bearing the responsibility of being team captain without her mother to support her.
“The only thing I could say was to turn the negativity into energy and win the trophy for her mother,” he said.
Yim herself was incredibly stoic, but then again, these cheerleaders are made of stern stuff. “No matter what happens, life goes on. We’re all going to do our best to execute a perfect routine at the finals. We don’t want to have any regrets,” she said.
By the way, it is two reps of 15 V-situps each, and that’s just one tiny part of their training routine. Nobody said cheerleading was easy.