Tom Tolen /

The Brighton High School varsity Pom Pon squad impressed judges and observers alike in taking 4th place in the nationals of Pom Pon competition, called the Dance Team Union 2023 National Championship and held recently in Orlando, FL.

Their coaches say it is the highest the BHS Pom Pon squad has ever placed at nationals, although they qualify every year. There were 65 teams in the competition overall, and 16 teams in the Large Varsity Pom category. The event was won by Floyd Central High School - a suburban community outside of Louisville, Kentucky. Brighton High School was the highest-scoring Michigan group in that category.

In order to qualify for nationals, the BHS squad took first place honors in regionals. The Brighton team also attends Dance Team Union Camp during the summer. At the nationals, co-coach Jenna Belian said, “They focused solely on their pom technique and making the routine memorable for anyone who watched them”

The team’s coaches are Belian, Camryn Tyler and Kendall Isaacs, who say the members pay their own way to nationals by holding various fundraising events. The team co-captains are Samantha DeMattos and Sylvia Collins. Belian summed it up by saying, “This group of athletes always wanted to be better than their last performance and continue to build.”