Since she was two years old, Peyton Kuykendall has been in love with dancing, and since she was a freshman in high school, she has dreamed of doing pom in college.
Friday, Kuykendall made those dreams come true. The Yukon senior pom member signed a letter of intent to be on the pom squad at the University of Central Oklahoma when she begins college in August.
“I know the coach and they really wanted me there,” Kuykendall said. “It’s a smaller school and better for me academically. They have a good psychology program and I know people in the school and people on the (pom) team.
“I have danced since I was two and it was love at first sight. I have always wanted to do pom in college since I started as a freshman. For the majority of my life, I have been in pom or dance. There were some hard parts when I was younger and starting out in pom as a freshman but I am glad I stuck with it and I have loved all of my coaches throughout the process.”
Kuykendall’s dance and pom life hasn’t been an easy road. This past summer, she underwent hip surgery to fix a torn labrum and a hip impingement she had been dealing with for roughly a year.
“I danced on it for about a year,” Kuykendall said. “It was very painful. They were able to go in and smooth it all out. Getting back was pretty hard. I have had to do a lot of physical therapy. I may have rushed back a little but it’s nothing I can’t handle. It’s very common in dancers and I’m feeling pretty good. I’m almost back to 100 percent.”
At UCO, the pom squad will perform at football games, basketball games and volleyball matches. They will also compete against other pom squads and dance teams.
In the future, Kuykendall said she would like to coach.
“I could see myself coaching in the future,” Kuykendall said. “I taught dance last year and it was a lot of fun.”
Kuykendall said she wants to study psychology at UCO and she has wanted to do that for a long time.
“I have always wanted to do that since I have been in high school,” Kuykendall said. “There were some other things I considered but I have always wanted to do psychology. I want to help people.”
Before she goes off to the college ranks and takes her talents to Edmond, Kuykendall still has some business to finish with the Yukon pom squad.
Yukon is leaving Feb. 1 for Orlando, Florida to go and compete in the national competition against some of the best high school pom squads in the nation.
Kuykendall said she and the team are looking forward to the opportunity.
“I think we have been practicing really well,” Kuykendall said. “We have been working really hard and I think we will be ready. The key for us is to stay focused and stay together.”