For an expected blog request involving cheerleading, the answer is a bit unique. The request was, “a cheerleading blog!! How you came to be who you are today” (aka a cheer teacher? A choreographer? A cheer marketer?). I have always been a cheerleader (all-star, high school, college, national team) and am known for it even in adulthood. Below are the decisions I made that led me to my role in cheerleading today.
When I was an all-star cheerleader (Age 9-15) I decided I wanted to work in cheerleading as my career one day. I didn’t want to be a coach or a judge– I wanted to be important in the cheerleading industry. I still have a long way to go, but I started working toward that goal by going to a great cheerleading school.
Hofstra is definitely the reason I was able to go after that silly dream, but not for the championships or the (v expensive) degree. Hofstra taught me the invaluable skill of versatility. I stunted coed for competition and all girl for partner stunt & STUNT the sport. I middle layered and I was a tippy top. I also did baskets and standing tumbling. With this type of practice, I was able to teach cheerleading with a different understanding than most people.
Now for the fun part (and my secret!!!)– my choice to pursue a role with the squirrels* after college graduation. Although I can switch between all girl and coed, I was realistic about what I should focus on teaching at my job. All girl had always come more naturally for me– and even though I am a small human, I am generally bigger than most coed tops. Since being a coed top wasn’t important to me (like it is for most top girls) I went the path less traveled.
*squirrels=all girl specialists. Ex. all squirrel instead of all girl, who run the world? Squirrels.
The choice I made was realistic and that’s why it worked out well. I am so thankful to be considered an all girl top from the US National Team/UCA, even though I was coed on Hofstra, because it’s where I felt I could make a difference. Plus, this is the most exciting time to be involved in all girl cheerleading at the collegiate (highest) level!
I get to teach squirrels at a time when all girl stunting has evolved from trying to mirror the way coed stunts are done. The limits of group stunting are being challenged as technique gets better universally– we are figuring out how to do even bigger stunts with the power of THREE PEOPLE underneath a stunt instead of one. Coed is continuing to grow while the squirrels are increasing their unknown potential!
This summer was especially fun in teaching all girl skills. I always had exceptional bases (usually from West Georgia/Morehead) to play around and execute difficult stunts with. Even at 25 years old, far past the shelf life of a normal cheerleader’s career, I feel that I am getting better as my understanding increases.
To sum this all up– if anyone is still reading this lengthy blog– I have the opportunities I do now because of the program I cheered at. Hofstra taught me versatility, which has become more useful than ever expected. The choice to pursue all girl after college due to natural abilities & size gave me an area to focus in on and turn into a career. I love the path that I chose!
I hope this wasn’t a boring cheer autobiography and more of an eye-opening for some people regarding the differences in opportunity. Adjust your dreams according to the wonderful gifts you are presented with and you will surpass your own ideals of success!