By: Kirsten James
When I was Little
Ever since I can remember, I always made up cheers or dances. My mom told me I would pray to be put in cheerleading when I was really young. I also would watch my sister cheer and she would teach me what she knew. My parents eventually put me in cheerleading along with my sister.
When I got to Middle School
All through elementary school I cheered for the all-star team in my town. I went to competitions all over the state and my passion for cheerleading kept growing. However, I decided to play softball in middle school rather than cheerleading. I chose softball because I knew it would make my dad happy. He loved baseball and I knew he would be pleased if I chose to play the girl sport of what he loved. I ended up hating softball and I wish I would have cheered instead. I should have known that my dad didn't care what I did, he just wanted me to do what I loved.
High School Years
When I got to high school, I chose to go back to cheerleading. Cheerleading in high school allowed me to improve as a cheerleader. I also made my greatest friends by being on the cheerleading team.
First Creative Act
Cheerleading in my family is tradition. My sister was the first, then I followed, and my cousins followed in our footsteps. We taught our cousins to cheer by teaching them to stunt and tumble at family get togethers which is basically every Sunday. My sister is even coaching the team one of my cousins is on right now. Love for cheerleading runs in the family.
The Cheerleading Team I Admire the Most
My favorite team would have to be Cheer Extreme Senior Elite from Kernersville, NC. They are my favorite team because they always are different from other teams and it makes them stand out. They won the 2010 Cheerleading World Championships by creating a new, difficult stunt. That stunt changed the way people looked at cheerleading. Since then, they have won 2 more titles at the World Championships and they continue to create innovative routines every year.
Senior Elite Ball Up 360's Cheer Extreme
Do I love the process or result when I work?
When I cheered, my favorite part was working with my teammates. There was no better feeling than working with my friends on an extremely hard stunt. Cheerleading is definitely a team sport and thats how I became so close to my friends. We grew closer as a team while we worked and we felt so accomplished when we finally would hit that stunt we worked so hard for.
Ideal Creative Activity?
Stunting is my absolute favorite part of cheerleading. Stunting has changed so much within the last ten years and the difficulty is becoming insane. So my ideal creative activity is trying new stunts that I never thought I could do and hitting them. Even though I will never be on the same level as cheerleaders today, I still love creating new stunt sequences.
Cheer Extreme Senior Elite EVOLUTION 2007 - 2015
My Greatest Dream
My greatest dream would be owning a cheerleading gym of my own with my sister and cousins. I would love coach the sport I love with other young athletes with my family. The ultimate dream would be taking a team to the World Championship and winning.