state North Dakota: recent publications

When a Mother Fails to Love: What’s Helped Me Move On

“You keep meeting the same person in different bodies until you learn the lesson.” ~Brandon Tarot

Like most girls in junior high school, I tried out for all the cheerleading squads every time tryouts came around—basketball, football, even wrestling. And like 95 percent of the girls, I never made the squad.

My kicks weren’t high enough, my splits weren’t split enough, my arms weren’t board-straight enough, I couldn’t jump high enough—and, let’s be real here: I wasn’t pretty enough and I wasn’t popular enough. After all, we are talking about junior high school.

But eventually, the one tryout came around that I had half a chance at: the pom-pom squad. Even at thirteen years old, I knew I could dance. Pom pom was the group of ten to twelve girls that performed choreographed routines to music at half-time during basketball games, and rarely during the period breaks at hockey games, on ice (I grew up in North Dakota, where hockey was a big deal).

To try out for pom pom, you usually got together with two or three of your best girlfriends who also wanted to make the team, picked a song you all liked, and tried to choreograph a dance routine to that song.

Picking the right song was crucial: it had to be a popular song that everyone would immediately recognize (Top 40, currently getting radio play time was best!), and it had to have the right rock-and-roll beat that was not too slow so that it would be boring to dance to, yet not too fast so that we would have a hard time making spins, kicks, or coordinated moves in time with the beat.

So it came to pass: Eighth grade, tryout date was announced, and teams signed up to compete. It turned out to be myself and my friends Diane and Becky who agreed we were going to go for it that

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