Hard work key to Hawkettes' success Hawkettes, Maine South's Pom-Pon squad, is one of the hardest working clubs in the school. At all home ball games and guest engagements, the dancers, dressed in sparkling costumes and glowing smiles, provide professional half-time entertainment.
Behind the Hawkettes' perfection, though, is a story of self-discipline and hard work.
Debbie, a senior co-captain of the Hawkettes, said, "We have to discipline ourselves because of our responsibility to the school and to each other. We're not out here to perform as individuals but to look good as a unit. Sometimes at practice we yell as if we hate each other, but mutual criticism gets us working together. It's a lot of work, but the feeling of self-satisfaction after a performance makes it all worth while."
The popular myth that says a Hawkette will be benched if she gains a pound is absolutely false, according to the Pom-Pon sponsor and choreographer, Miss Bobrich.
Somme girls can gain five pounds and not show it," said Miss Bobrich. "Then other girls gain three and it hangs out right away. The weigh-ins help themselves so that their weights don't slip beyond a visible limit."
Despite Miss Bobrich's non-ogre outlook on overweight Hawkettes, the girls still make sacrifices.
Explained junior Hawkette Chris, "We always worry about our weights. On weigh-in days, we don't eat all day."
Pounds are not the only obstacle Hawkettes must overcome.
Senior Hawkette Patty has trouble staying limber, especially over the summer. "I'm the only one on the squad with a bad kick," Patty commented. "During the summer I really had to exercise to keep in shape. Each Hawkette is assigned a new girl to practice with over the summer and that helped. But I still had a hard time when practice at school started again."
Practicing is the Hawkette activity that consumes most of their time.
Miss Bobrich explained, "Practice is Tuesday through Friday from 4 to maybe 6 PM. During football the girls come Saturday at noon to practice with the band. In the basketball season they come on Friday at 7 PM to practice. There are five or six basic routine steps. The rest of the dance is made up of new steps."
Sewing is notorious for using up the time left over after the Hawkettes practice. Homemade costumes were started when professionally-made costumes became too expensive.
Actually, the girls don't sew as often as is believed. Every year they make about two outfits. Miss Bobrich suggests the basic design, the school provides the materials, the girls sew it up, and the school takes the finished products back.
Outfits are stored and reused each year so that the girls have to do a minimum of sewing. The girls can replace parts of previous years' costumes if they want.
The work load sometimes gets junior Hawkette Carol down. Carol said, "Sometimes it's depressing to be a substitute like me and do all the work, yet not be able to perform with the regulars. But usually I don't mind sitting out. I get a good feeling when I see all the Hawkettes dancing perfectly."
Being captain of the squad is even more work as senior Karen testified. "I design costumes, decide routine, decide which alternates to use, measure costume material, and make sure everyone knows what she's doing. The hard work is worth it when I see everything operate smoothly together."
Hawketting also has its outside effects on the girls.
Senior Nancy commented, "In school, people I've never seen before say hello to me. At home, I have less time to do homework, so I'm more inclined to do it."
Sophomore Becky added, "People look up to you, but they also think you're stuck up. You have to be twice as friendly to change your image."
Cindy '73 concluded, "Contrary to what people think, being a Hawkette doesn't necessarily mean I get dates. Just being a Hawkette occupies lots of my time."
For all female readers who have not been scared off by the previous paragraphs, here are a few requirements to be a Hawkette.
You must have a C average.
You need good rhythm.
You do not need dance training.
You must be limber, coordinated, and light on your feet.
For the few girls who have all the above attributes, here are some tips on tryouts in the spring:
Be distinct in your footwork.
Mistakes are not important; it's how you cover for them that counts.
Point your toes, especially when you kick.
Those girls who still want to try out may, at this time next year, be able to understand the feeling junior Kathy described.
"Hawketting is like show-business. You get cold from nervousness and worry about stage fright," commented Kathy. "Then you're out on the field and you can't mess up. You've heard the music so many times that your body moves without thinking. Then it's over and you know the crowd enjoyed you."