News, Waterford

Dancers to represent U.S. at international competition

Foursis Dance and Gymnastics, of Waterford, will have plenty of representation at an International Cheer Union competition in Orlando in late April. From the left: (front) Kaylee Kedrowicz, Toryann Gaudynski, Brooklyn Effinger, Annabelle Budet, Austin Smikowski, and Abby Hittman; (second) Ella Cardin, Madeline Lynch, Greta Nielsen, Kendall Schicker, Kaylie Woida, Madelyn Brever, and Elyse Hintz; (third) Gabriella Schierl, Olivia Wilde, Ella Trottier, Greta Schierl, Sophia Tetzlaff, Baylee Preston, Rilynn Dropik, and Addison Klepp; (top row) coach Deanna Schicker, coach Alicia Padilla, Brailyn Saglin, Aleyah Ferreira, Halia Friesema, Audrey Schoenfeld, Ellie Keim, Addisen Boho, coach Rebecca Saglin, and coach Christina Gaudynski. Not pictured: Skylar Gaylord (Submitted/Southern Lakes Newspapers),

By Jason Arndt

Waterford’s Foursis Dance and Gymnastics and Energizers Dance Team, of Hartford, will once again represent the United States during an International Cheer Union World Championship competition at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando.

One year removed from winning the silver as representatives of the U.S. National Youth Pom team, the partnering programs will have two squads, one for Youth Pom and the other for Junior Pom, during the competition, being held April 24-25.

The International Cheer Union serves as the International Olympic Committee’s recognized world governing body for cheerleading representing more than 100 nations.

Deanna Schicker – co-owner of Foursis Dance and Gymnastics, with her sisters Christina Gaudynski, Rebecca Saglin, and Alicia Padilla – said the selection serves as evidence of the dancers’ dedication to the sport.

“I think it is a huge honor and I think it’s a testament to our hard work and our commitment to grow in excellence,” Schicker said.

Unlike the competition in 2023, when the team had eight representatives from Foursis, the club will have a combined 28 local athletes from multiple communities on both squads.

Since November, when Foursis learned of the selection, Schicker said their dancers and representatives from Energizers have worked hand-in-hand on perfecting their routines for the world competition.

“We will be the sole representative for the United States at this competition,” Schicker said.

The two programs, Schicker said, have been coordinating times and dates for practices in both Hartford and Waterford leading up to the competition.

Brailyn Saglin, 14, of Waterford, served as a member of the silver medal winning Youth Pom team last year and will return, joining the Junior Pom Squad.

She said practices have presented some challenges, such as bonding with Energizers representatives. But based on her participation in last year’s competition at the ESPN complex, it’s worth the experience.

“It is definitely challenging, but we have practiced so much that we have gotten used to it,” Brailyn, daughter of co-owner Rebecca, said.

“Last year, it was very exciting when we would walk out on that stage and see all the people. Your energy and adrenaline like skyrockets. It was definitely a great opportunity to have that experience,” Brailyn added.

First appearances
While the world competition isn’t new to her, others will experience the international stage for the first time, including Kendall Schicker, Audrey Schoenfeld, and Toryann Gaudynski.

Schoenfeld, 18, couldn’t compete for last year’s Youth Pom because of age restrictions so was a spectator watching her younger teammates perform.

“I got to watch it and experience what my teammates went through,” Schoenfeld said. “Getting that experience for myself is going to be really awesome.”

Schicker, 17, daughter of Deanna, also faced age limitations and wanted to experience the competition herself.

“Watching the youth team last year and their practices made me really want to do it,” Schicker said.

Gaudyinski, 11, said she is fortunate to be able to represent the United States.

“It feels pretty amazing to be on it and competing for the United States,” said Gaudynski, who wasn’t old enough to participate in the competition in 2023.

She is the daughter of Foursis co-owner Christina.

Clear goals
Schicker said she will not be able to fully grasp representing the United States until she receives the proper attire with U.S.A. emblazoned on the uniforms.

“For me, getting all the gear makes it feel real,” she said. “The gear makes it feel really cool.”

Schoenfeld talked about last year’s success and said the U.S. National Junior Pom Team has one simple objective – to win the top prize.

“We definitely are going for the gold,” Schoenfeld said. “It would be an honor to win something for the United States and for our small town of Waterford.”

Saglin said there is some pre-meet anxiety present. But once she steps out onto the stage, she believes she can perform to the best of her ability while representing the United States.

“I am a little nervous, but I know when I get there, I will be able to do my routine and I know that I will be able to do everything,” Saglin said.

Overwhelming support
Deanna Schicker said dozens of businesses and individuals spanning multiple communities, including Waterford, Burlington, Rochester, City of Racine and the Village of Sturtevant, have made it possible for Foursis and Energizers to represent the country.

“Every year, we are blown away by the support in the community,” she said. “Last year, we had a tremendous amount of support. This year, it has tripled.”

“They were more than happy and proud to support our kids,” she added.

Comments are closed.