"I'm just trying to cherish every last minute," says Panosian, a USC senior who transferred from Glendale Community College. "I've always wanted to go to USC and I've always known about the USC Song Girls."
Started in 1967, the Song Girls are synonymous with USC. Clad in their traditional white sweatshirts, they're a staple at Trojans football games — as well as basketball and volleyball. They fall under the category of dancers more than cheerleaders, as they showcase a slew of choreographed routines minus any stunts, throws or pyramids. Posing for pictures and signing autographs go with the territory, as they've performed across the globe and built a storied tradition of their own.
For Panosian, who started her days on the drill team at Toll Middle School, today will be the last time she'll take to the sidelines to cheer on the Trojans football team.
"There's nothing like football if you ask me," Panosian says.
And what a run it's been.
Over the last two seasons, USC football has won two Pacific-10 Conference titles, lost just three games and played in consecutive Rose Bowls, including last season's for the National Championship. It was quite a change from Friday nights cheering on a Hoover team that never even made the CIF playoffs.
"It's a huge culture shock," says the petite brunette.
Among the biggest changes is obviously performing in front of sparse crowds at Moyse Field compared to dancing in front of tens of thousands at the Los Angeles Coliseum.
"Just the coliseum itself is it's own experience," Panosian says. "Sometimes I just do a complete 360 and take it all in — I'm feeding off all that."
Performing in front of thousands is perhaps the biggest reward for Panosian and her teammates, who put in their fair share of hard work.