What Should You Do?
I spent many years of my life working with the young people of Comanche ISD, and one of the things I learned from them over a long course of time is that very few understand much about the world that most of us call college. Today, while visiting with high school junior Kailee Hansmire, it occurred to me that there are a lot of misconceptions about how one becomes a college cheerleader…something that Kailee intends to be!
Thankfully, Kailee understands the drill, and she has been working toward her goal for most of her life, and it truly does take that.
1. Gymnastics- There’s no way around it, college cheerleaders are ALL very skilled in gymnastics, and by skilled I mean that they’ve had years of training.
2. Cheer Camps or Clinics- I’ll be the first to tell you that this is not terribly fair, but it is the reality of becoming a college cheerleader. In fact, as I type, Kailee is planning to attend two more camps this week, one at Texas State and one at TCU. These camps do serve to train future collegiate cheerleaders; however, more importantly, they allow cheerleaders to be seen by colleges; they also allow them to begin to know the right people. Unfortunately, the camps cost…quite a lot actually, by the time hopeful cheerleaders have attended as many as is necessary to give them an edge.
3. Dancing- It is at the camps or clinics that hopeful cheerleaders learn the dances required for cheerleading tryouts. Professional dance training is not a must; however, those girls who are not born with a natural coordination and grace do have to have help in this area.
4. Competitive Cheer- Kailee has been in competitive cheer classes and competitions since she was in the 7th grade, working with the Seal Gymnastics team out of Early, Texas. Again, it is fairly expensive to make the drive to the lessons, pay for the training, and pay for the various costumes, entry fees, transportation to contests, etc. required to compete. While I can’t tell you that competitive cheer is 100% necessary to becoming a college cheerleader, it certainly does give an edge to competitors.
During her senior year Kailee will go to various schools and try out for cheerleader. She will be judged on tumbling, stunts, dances, and personality…and this is why the camps are so important…she will hone these skills there. And here at United, we wish her nothing but the very best!!