“Mid Michigan Pom Pon”, the precursor to Mid American Pompon, was founded in 1979 by Karen Blazaitis. Prior to this time, pommers in the state of Michigan had very few performance opportunities and even fewer competitive platforms to take advantage of. There was not a forum for pommers to compete at the State level, and Karen wanted to help provide that platform so that the sport of pompon could be viewed on the same level as every other competitive sport. In order to facilitate this growth, Mid Michigan Pom Pon needed to create a structure for practices, camps, performances, and competitions for coaches and teams to follow.
This mindset of mentorship and growth led Karen to establish the very first Mid Michigan Pom Pon summer camp in August 1979. On February 9th, 1980, Mid Michigan Pom Pon hosted the very first state-wide pompon competition in the state of Michigan at Eisenhower High School, Karen’s Alma Mater. In 1982, in an effort to expand both in name and in services, Mid Michigan Pom Pon was re-incorporated and officially became Mid American Pompon (MAPP).
In 1986, MAPP began a new venture: the All Star Team! Fun fact: current MAPP Director Julie Hobbs-Julian was a member of this inaugural team! The MAPP All Star Team allowed MAPP to bring their pom style to television screens & stages far outside the state of Michigan. Since its conception, the MAPP All Star Team has become a mainstay in America’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and has performed internationally in parades, Presidential Inaugurations, and even the Olympic Games!
The MAPP community has grown exponentially since 1979. The MAPP organization includes thousands of pommers spanning in age from elementary school through college in Michigan and other Midwestern states. As a result, MAPP has developed a signature performance aesthetic that emphasizes the athleticism, synchronicity, and visual appeal of the team, as opposed to the individual. Each summer, MAPP hosts several summer camps for middle School and high school teams. November brings Hip Hop & High Kick Championships, an event that brings spectators, pommers, and coaches together to compete with creative and stylized dance and high kick routines that include props, costuming, and thematic elements not present in a traditional pom setting. Regional and State Championships, hosted at the start of each calendar year, are where every MAPP team vies for the excitement and pride that comes from the opportunity to perform a champion encore; an encore performance of only the top achieving routine in each division.