Society Showcase: Solent Ravens Cheer and Dance team
Every month at Hype Collective, we showcase two societies or students whose hard work deserves to be highlighted. Earlier this month we spoke to Euann, one of the Young Sounds 2022 finalists, about the experience and what he’s been up to since.
This week we spoke to Cassandra of the Solent Ravens Cheer and dance team as they get stuck into Competition season.
Hype: Hey Cassandra! Tell me a little about yourself and the society you’re a part of.
Solent Ravens: My name is Cassandra Melim, I am a 20-year-old Fashion Marketing student at Solent university and I am also part of a society called Solent ravens. Solent ravens are a cheerleading and dance society where you can do Jazz, Hip Hop, Game Day, Pom, Comp and Group stunts.
Hype: How did you come to join the team, what was the audition process like?
Solent Ravens: I have always done cheerleading since I was in year 8 so I knew from the moment I started university that I would join this society, however, I only joined in my second year of uni due to covid and lockdown restrictions in my first year. To become part of Solent Ravens there is an auditioning process every year and it’s different for all the teams you decide to join. Personally, because I wanted to join the comp and group stunt team my audition process was different from the other team. I was shown a dance, that I had to memorise a week before, to perform in the auditioning process as well as showing my jumps, performance and stunting skills. Once the audition was completed we were told within a week if we made the team. Thankfully, I got into all the teams I wanted, these being comp level 2 in my second year of uni and currently doing comp level 2 and group stunt level 3 in my 3rd year of uni.
Hype: I see your team just attended the Future Cheer University Nationals and Cheer City, how was it and how did you do?
Solent Ravens: This year we recently went to a couple of competitions called Cheer City in Warwick and Future Cheer Nationals in Manchester. Cheer City was an added competition we decided to do as our group stunt team only had 1 competition this whole season and we wanted to do more. This was a competition that I’d never been to before while doing cheerleading, however, it was a great start to the season as the level 3 group stunt came 1st place.
A week later after competing at cheer city, the whole of Ravens competitive teams (comp, group stunt, Pom, Hip Hop and Jazz) went to Future Cheer nationals. For the teams I was in, Comp came 7th out of 13 teams, which I was really upset about until I found out we were only 2 points away from being in 1st place! Finally, the level 3 group stunt team came 3rd out of 5 teams and once again we were just 1 point away from being in first place.
Hype: Being part of the team doesn’t just mean training hard, you also have a lot of themed nights, what have you had this month?
Solent Ravens: Being part of a society also means that you get to go out once a week with your team to have drinks, food, games, etc and every week it is always a different theme. This year I’ve only gone to these socials twice as I’ve been very busy with uni work but I still watch everyone’s story and pictures so it still feels like I’ve been a part of it. Going to these socials is also a good way to meet the girls and boys from the other Solent Raven teams. This month we’ve had so many fun themes, these being: Rhyme without reason (you get paired up with another raven and have to dress up with something that rhymes), my favourite one so far is dads on holidays (where we had to dress up as a dad, everyone went full out with their costumes which were amazing), army social and finally pub golf (this was a joint social with the RedHawks where we done a pub crawl in Southampton). I think going to these socials is such a great bonding experience with the team, especially during pres where we play games to get to know each other with A LOT of drinking games.
Hype: You guys have had such a busy month already, what do you have coming up next month?
Solent Ravens: For next month we have another competition coming up in Birmingham called Legacy, this means for this whole month we’re going to be practising very hard and more often to prepare ourselves. Now that we have feedback from the judges on how we can improve our routine we will be focusing on these changes for the next competition. And of course, we will also continue going to these crazy socials every week.
Hype: What’s your favourite part of being part of the Solent Ravens?
Solent Ravens: My favourite part of being a Raven is that with the teams that I am on, it honestly feels like we’re one big family and I’ve never had that in a team before. Everyone has each other’s back, we tell each other everything (from embarrassing relationship stories to problems we have in our life) and most importantly we listen to each other and we are always giving advice.
Hype: How can those interested get in on the fun?
Solent Ravens: Every year Solent Ravens attend the fresher’s society fair so if anyone is interested in joining and is wondering what they can do to join, they can come up to us and ask questions about the process. Even if you don’t make the freshers fair we are always looking for people and all you have to do is give us a message on our Instagram.