Oakland Cheer and Dance work together to put on a show

You see them at all the basketball games, and they see you. It’s the Oakland Cheer and Dance Teams providing extra excitement for the fans, and working on getting you to the games.

“Its definitely really fun, it’s to be a cheerleader and be the ones who are promoting Oakland Sports,” said Katerina Hrisopoulos, a leader of OU’s cheer team.

Two other leaders joined the conversation to help talk about their program.

“It’s really nice being involved with the sports,” Ashley Moskal said.

She came from a gymnast’s background, and since they don’t have a program here she signed up to cheer.

“Cheer was my way to get involved at OU and be an athlete like I have been my whole life,” Moskal said.

These girls all have some sort of background in gymnastics or prior cheerleading experience through middle and high school.

Hrisopoulos is involved with the Spirit Staff, which has a cheer camp that high school teams can go to. 

They can be caught at all the basketball games, but attend other sporting events at Oakland including swimming, volleyball and even helping out with golf sometimes. 

The girls on the dance team have a strong sisterly bond even though most of them live off campus, and say it’s just like any other sport in terms of connecting with their team.

Cheerleader Izzy Evans lived with a few dance girls since coming to Oakland, she’s experienced the growing relationship between the two squads.

A cheerleaders schedule is huge to them.

“Some people think when they first join it’s like, ‘okay its two practices,’ it’s not just two practices, its practices, workouts, events, games, it’s everything,” Evans. “It’s a big commitment to us.”

This is Claire Mozer’s first year as head coach, and loves what she’s getting out of her team.

“They’re always excited to be here, even though I push them to be their best, they’re always willing to give more than I expect,” Mozer said.

Over the past couple years the cheer and dance teams have been growing closer. The two teams have separate jobs, where the dance team will put on a performance and cheer is the part that gets the crowd more involved in the game.

When it comes to coming up with new routines in cheer, the team and coach both have their input on what to do.

“We’re starting to work on our nationals, which is huge for us,” Mozer said.

Nationals, which refers to the national tournament that Oakland cheerleaders will compete in with about 20 other teams, is what the cheerleaders have worked for all season. They are only trying to compete in this one competition, which doesn’t have any specific affiliation with the Horizon League.