Cheer team to perform at Manifest

By Lindsey Woods

Music and dance are not new to Manifest, but the Renegades cheerleading squad will combine the two with traditional cheer-style tumbling to bring additional spirit to this year’s campuswide celebration on May 4.

This is the first year the Renegades squad will perform at Manifest. Its routine will kick off at 2 p.m. on the stage located in the Nexus Lot at the corner of South Wabash and East Balbo avenues.

“We have stunts and a dance routine and a cheer we’re going to be incorporating,” said cheerleading co-captain Zanah Thirus, a junior marketing commmunication major. “Our routine is pretty much finished. We’re just polishing it now.”

This will be the second opportunity for the student body to see the Renegades cheerleaders perform this year. The other performance the team gave was at Convocation, according to Thirus. The Manifest performance will be the team’s first with its new co-captain, Morgan Gabriel.

“The last captain, [Brooke Burgert], wasn’t fulfilling her duties as a captain as part of the Renegades, so she had to step down,” said Abby Cress, president of the Renegades.

Burgert did not respond to requests for a comment.

Cheerleaders and members of other Renegades teams will be helping out inside the Renegades tent in the Nexus Lot. The Renegades will be the only student organization in the lot, as most of its counterparts will be located at 1001 S. Wabash Ave.

“There are pros and cons about being in the Nexus Lot,” Cress said. “The good thing about being the only student organization there is we will maybe get more attention and more people would remember us, whereas if we were in the other lot, we might just blend in.”

But she said there are also downsides to being separated.

“Not being next to the other student organizations might not be good because they’re our family, that’s who we’re with,” Cress said.

The Renegades plan on setting up a tent similar to the one they had last year. It will feature Renegades members interacting with visitors, a carnival-style game and decorations depicting the organization’s successes during the past year.

“We’re definitely making it more decorative and more ‘us,’” Cress said. “Last year it was boring. We had one banner and a table. Now, we’re actually going to decorate our tent with photos and merchandise. It’s going to be more fun and interactive.”

Renegades Vice President Forrest Frazier said it’s also reviving a popular attraction from last year but with a twist: a mechanical bull-type ride with a bucking chair instead of a bull. Participants must throw a ball at a target to win a prize. Players threw a basketball last year, while a football will be used this year, Frazier said.

“The chair is actually really comfy,” Frazier said. “It spins you around, and you try to aim and shoot. It’s been a really big hit.”

The Renegades’ booth will be open all day during the Manifest festivities. Cress and Frazier encourage students and spectators to stop by and say hello.