All Stars director Julie Hobbs-Julian knows she has her work cut out for her.
The Northville resident is working with dozens of young women in 9th-12 grades from all over the state, to prepare for performances at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. The group will leave July 7 to be part of productions arranged by KI Dance, a national company with which the Farmington Hills-based organization first worked during the Summer Olympics held in Atlanta, GA.
"We have four rehearsals before we go, and that's it, which is difficult," Hobbs-Julian said after working with the girls at in Farmington Hills. The biggest challenge, she added, has been "finding times and dates everyone can be at", because the girls are from around the state.
Team members normally perform a 3-minute routine, but their London routine runs twice that long. "Their conditioning has to be at a top level," said Hobbs-Julian, who coached pompon in Novi before joining Mid American.
Meredith Lanski, who graduated this year from , can't wait to go to London. "I think it's an amazing opportunity to be in the Olympics, because obviously everyone watches and hears about it," she said. She's also interested in meeting dancers and seeing different kinds of dance there.
Leah Sheffield, a junior from Plymouth, beams when she talks about performing in London. "We're going to be performing at a rugby game, so that's going to be super fun," she said. "I've never seen a rugby game."
"I'm looking forward mostly to the culture experience and learning a lot about England," said Katelyn Jakubowski, of Northville. She has been in pompon four years and said she sticks with it because she enjoys the team bonding as well as the opportunity to perform. "My home is kind of on the stage."
Christie Wilde spent four years on the Novi High team and was on the University of Michigan's pom team, before joining Mid American's staff. She has appreciated the opportunities to perform in venues like Detroit Pistons basketball games and parades.
"Definintely going to London is the highlight, it's the coolest thing I've ever done in poms," she said.
The team will be performing at a lot of pre-Olympic celebrations around the city and in different venues, including a rugby stadium. Mid American Pompon All Stars is one of four teams from the U.S. and the only one from Michigan to perform.