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Meet Union Middle School cheer coaches Gabby Pardula and Ellie Kristensen

Meet Union Middle School cheer coaches Gabby Pardula and Ellie Kristensen
Courtesy: Stephanie King

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Gabby Pardula and Ellie Kristensen have a lot in common. Both have a passion for cheerleading, a “perfection over progression” motto when it comes to the sport, and both are Union Middle School Alumni. And both are the cheer coaches for UMS!

Courtesy: Stephanie King

The UMS cheer team has ranged from 15-28 cheerleaders, all with varying skill levels. Ellie and Gabby make sure their team strives for consistency and safety while mastering moves and before moving on to more advanced techniques. Both coaches love introducing new choreography that will really dazzle judges. Perhaps this is why UMS consistently takes home 1st place in regionals and places in the top 3 in nationals. When it comes to coaching the team throughout the year, Gabby and Ellie seem to have their plan clearly mapped out. They explain “In the beginning of the season, the kids are super excited and full of energy to try new skills. We really focus on the basics of cheerleading, developing techniques, teaching cheers, and choreographing our competition routine. Once we get to November and December, it becomes a grind. When we educate our cheerleaders on the scoresheet, division rules, and limitations, they have a greater understanding of why certain elements of the routine are so important. This helps motivate the team by giving them specific goals to work towards.”

Tradition also is valued on the team. Before every performance, the cheerleaders perform their signature *stomp-clap-stomp-clap “U-M-S” call, and s stuffed tiger is placed at the front of the mats while the team is performing. Gabby and Ellie love continuing the traditions that they themselves participated in as UMS students!

Coach Ellie and Coach Gabby understand what a huge commitment cheer is. They’re consistently impressed with their team’s grit and determination. They also appreciate the support offered by the teammate’s families. Gabby and Ellie strive to make their program feel like a family and foster an environment of support—both on and off the mat!

This is an unedited user writing submission. The views, information, or opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Best Version Media or its employees.

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