Cougars strike a pose// After performing at halftime during one of Coronado’s football games, the Cougarettes all smile & pose for a picture. Captain Emma O’Grady has won two championships and hopes to guide her team to a third championship win this year. (Photo courtesy of Emma O’Grady).
Coronado Cougarettes are fighting for a fifth championship
by Hridi Bhakta
The Coronado Cougarettes are the reigning NDA National Champions and have been for the past four years. You might have seen the dance team at football games and school assemblies, where they showcase their complex dance routines and stunts. It’s no surprise that Coronado expects the Cougarettes to go for a five-peat this year. Emma O’Grady is graced with being a leader of the Cougarettes this year, and she is excited about what she and her team can bring this 2023-24 season.
“It’s super exciting being one of the captains this year because I get to teach the team the legacy and values of the Cougarettes that my past seniors have taught me,” O’Grady said. “The Cougarettes are always working super hard in order to stay at the top and hopefully we can go for a five-peat this year.”
Being the top dance team in the nation comes with pressure. One of the biggest challenges is living up to previous expectations. As a captain, O’Grady has to make sure she and her team are always ready to go out on the floor and dominate.
“The pressures of being a top team in the nation are intense, but it pushes us to be our best,” O’Grady said. “It requires us to come up with new ideas to bring to the dance world, and it keeps our work ethic extra strong.”
One of the main components that contribute to the Cougarettes’ strong work ethic is they always make sure to be in the right headspace. Although they train for hours and hours, perfecting their intricate routines, it’s just as essential to make sure they are in the right state of mind before going out to perform.
“Throughout the season we work hard to prepare ourselves mentally before performances. We found that our strong sisterhood and values have helped us perform our best because we do everything for the dancers next to us,” O’Grady said. “We do mindset training sessions in order to push ourselves to be our best and right before we go out to perform. The captains always give a big pep talk, and we usually finish it out with one of our chants that have been passed on for years.”
We are the cougarettes, we know just how to sweat
We know most everything from fuettes to leaps
We love to compete
Coach makes us move our feet
Oh how we love the Cougars
This chant is one that our Coronado Cougarettes will be saying all year to guide them to yet another championship. Good luck to our dancers: Coronado can’t wait to see what you accomplish this year.