By Abby Whelan
Not long after the school year begins, each grade starts to collaborate on their cheer for the highly anticipated Under The Lights (UTL) tradition. Every year on the last day of Spirit Week, the academic school day ends early, and all Wildcats gather in the gym to partake in school spirit activities such as costume awards, performances, and the highly competitive cheer competition. In particular, the energy-filled cheer performances help the whole school get pumped up for the upcoming sports games.
In front of a panel of esteemed teacher judges, each grade performs a well-rehearsed three to four-minute cheer. From the Class I’s adorable 30-second cheer to the Upper Schoolers’ extravagant five-minute dance performances, students, faculty, and staff enjoy all the school spirit. To make it even more fun, every grade earns a unique award, ranging from “most poetic lyrics” to “most likely to dominate in the Upper School.” Although the Lower School awards are just for fun, historically the juniors and seniors closely compete to win the coveted award of best cheer.
Melissa Gutierrez ’23 and Valeria Gil ’23 have continuously taken on the challenging task of creating a well-coordinated and entertaining cheer for their 64-person class. Now that they are seniors, the pressure is high for crafting their final cheer at Winsor. When asked what their favorite part of making the cheer each year is, Gutierrez answered that it is “definitely teaching the cheer and seeing everyone in the mirror do it all together and look synchronized.” Every practice takes a lot of hard work from everyone. Gutierrez continued, “We all feel good because it’s unifying to celebrate everyone’s achievements.”
Each year the seniors’ over-the-top dance never fails to make several Lower Schoolers’ jaws drop in awe. When asked if they feel any added pressure making the cheer now that they are seniors, Gil responded, “There is definitely added pressure now that we are seniors. Not to prove ourselves to others, but instead to be better than our previous selves, so there is pressure to live up to the greatness that we set last year.”
From having a socially-distanced pep rally outside to the entire school gathering in the gym, every grade’s UTL cheer helps to bring together the Winsor community. Through all the hard work of the cheer captains and each long tiring practice, we always appreciate each cheer and how they clearly display each class’s unique talents and spirit. Overall, we are so excited to see all of the cheers for Under The Lights 2022!