“Sookmyung power, Sookmyung mascot. We're NiViS!" Wearing sparkling blue uniforms and engaging in spectacular cheer choreography, NiViS empowers Sookmyungians. As a Sookmyungian, you've surely heard or seen at least one performance during your university life. The club has numerous practices in order to ensure a flawless show. The Sookmyung Times met Jung Danmi, leader of NiViS’s Sookmyung Cheer Squad to discover its power.
Could you explain what NiViS stands for and tell us a bit about the club’s activities?
NiViS comes from the word 'Snow' in Latin, which is symbolized in Sookmyung's school emblem, the snowflake. The club was founded in 1986, and this year marks its 30th anniversary. To create a university cheer culture that could be used for unity and solidarity, the club aims to vitalize and energize people everywhere. Internally the club mainly makes appearances at the school entrance ceremony and cheers at sporting competitions, but we also host a cheer festival each year, which is the result of much practice and hard work. Outside of Sookmyung, the club joins other university festivals by making guest appearances and joins a number of outside annual cheer workshops and regular performances that are hosted by the Korea University Cheerleaders Association (KUCA).
NiViS has made many debut performances. Among those, what was one of your most memorable?
All of the stages the club has performed on were important and memorable but one of the most memorable was the Republic of Korea Air Force Academy festival performance in October of 2013. The reaction we were greeted there with was fabulous. All students at the Air Force Academy sang long as we cheered to the main song "Show." The performance was so exciting. All cheer members were completely energized by the audiences. Another memorable performance was the one the club did for the school entrance ceremony held at Jamsil Stadium. That stage was unbelievable, much better than the stages at other universities. It was so meaningful for the club. NiViS was proud to welcome new Sookmyungians to the university. Because the stage served as the momentum that raised expectation among new students, the club was really glad to have the chance to perform at the occasion.
Nearly every university has a cheer squad. What makes NiViS unique?
The squads at each university differ. NiViS is unique in that it performs at co-ed universities, promoting the power of a women’s university. Our uniform is also unique. The blouse sleeves are designed to represent the wing span of a crane whereas other university uniform top sleeves tend to be tight to the skin. On the back of the blouse there is the Sookmyung symbol that we wear with pride. Through pressure to perfect our routines is stressful, all members are close and we share strong bonds with all member, regardless of age. In fact, the club is often visited by former members who are now married. It was interesting to see an alumnus member with her husband and baby at a recent performance. To keep this strong connection, the club also tries to keep in continuous contact with past members.
Lastly, do you have any words for your fellow Sookmyungians?
Most of our activities are done off campus activities, so unfortunately there are few opportunities to meet fellow students at Sookmyung. We regret this, but in our hearts we are always cheering for our fellow Sookmyungians. NiViS belongs to Sookmyung, so we are always working for you. The club promises to continuously endeavour to present performances that energize Sookmyungians. The club will also try harder to communicate with you more, so please look for and come out to our shows. Let’s work together to revitalize our souls!