Philadelphia Soulmates Finals

Thirty hopefuls for the 2016 Phialdelphia Soulmates took the stage at PARX Casino last Tuesday night for the squad’s final auditions.


Former Soulmates Maurisa, Julia, Danielle, Alyssa and Theresa









Kayia with Jackie peaking out from behind






Look for the new squad on the field in the spring.

[Soulmates Finals Gallery]

Texans Cheerleaders Celebrate The Troops

The Houston Chronicle has a fine slideshow of the Texans Cheerleaders from last Sunday’s game:


[Texans Cheerleaders at]

Who Dat? A Third of Saints Cheerleaders from Mississippi

Donna Echols
The Clarion-Ledger

New Orleans is the home of the Saints, but nearly a third of the Saintsations — the cheer and team team for the NFL franchise — are from Mississippi. And these 11 women are as beautiful on the inside as they are on the outside.


I am writing about them now, both it won’t be the last time. Another column is coming when I head to the Superdome to observe a day in the life of the Saintsations.

Kriste Lewis

Kriste Lewis, of Moss Point, joined the Saintsations at age 40. “It was always on my bucket list,” Lewis says. Diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease, a genetic disease where cysts form on the kidneys, the prospect of kidney failure is very real. There is no cure and the only options are dialysis or a transplant. “A healthy kidney is the size of your fist; a PKD kidney can grow as large as an NFL football. Ironic for me don’t you think,” she says with a smile.

Being a Saintsation is an example of following a dream, says Lewis. “So many little girls need positive role models to show them you can accomplish many dreams in your lifetime. I can be a wife, mother, teacher, friend, and still do something I enjoy.”

Now 41, Lewis believes in redefining what a woman can do. She doesn’t let her age — or disease —define her.

“Eventually, I know my disease will catch up with me. But that doesn’t mean I’ll sit on the side of the road and wait for it,” she says. “I plan on making good choices so I can have as much time for making memories with the people I love. That’s what life is all about, those memories, and being a Saintsation is a part of that. And, I love the fact that my family, especially my guys, are having just as much fun as I am. The Saints organization and our director, Lesslee Fitzmorris, and her staff work to empower women; this experience is a blessing.”

Andre’El Brown

Andre’El Brown, of Hattiesburg, believes in living life to the fullest, too. “I love being able to show women and girls from Mississippi that they can follow their dreams.”

Brown also praised her teammates for their strength and support. “Being on this team gives you a sense of perseverance, hard work, dedication and responsibility.”

Sarah Bass

Sarah Bass, of Hattiesburg, didn’t make it to the Saintsations tryouts last year. On her way to the audition, she swerved off the road in the rain and totaled her car.

“Although this set me back a year, I decided not to let it affect my dream,” she says. With renewed determination, she made it to the next audition and secured a spot on the team.

“Everyone faces trials and tribulations in their lives. Some may be unpreventable, while others are consequences of choices; however, there is no path in the past that can affect one’s path for the future,” Bass says.

Elizabeth Kiehn

Elizabeth Kiehn, of Hattiesburg, smiles when she thinks of her road to the Saintsations. “I was a chubby little girl with big dreams wanting to be a professional dancer.”

The lesson? Never count yourself out, she advises. “Being a member of this team makes you a better person in life,” Kiehn says. “Lesslee is a strong, positive role model, and she takes pride in shaping the women on her team.”

Baily Davis

Bailey Davis, of Ellisville, has her own take on the power of the Saintsations. “Society tries to make women think we are competing against one another, but this team has shown me we are more powerful together.”

Brandy Jarvis

Brandy Jarvis, of Biloxi, offers a similar perspective. “This team is more about who you are inside your heart than your outward appearance.” She emphasizes the team’s community service projects and willingness to help others overcome adversity.

Her advice? “Don’t let others determine your destiny, and feel blessed not stressed.”

“I live by these words because throughout my life,” she says. “I’ve had people try to tear me down.”

Morgan Welsh

Morgan Welsh, of Jackson, started taking ballet at age 3 and also trained with Ballet Mississippi. She remembers being “one of those little girls, scrawny, big-eyed, and a tiny little thing who wanted to be something special.” The sisterhood she’s found within the Saintsations organization, she says, is what makes her feel special.

Welsh says her mother has a favorite quote that she’s applied to pursuing her dream: “Shoot for the moon, for if you fall, you fall among the stars.

“She made me believe that no goals were too high. I learned that you have to work hard and fight for what you want. You do not ever let someone tell you that you cannot achieve your dream,” she explains. “I’ve always heard that there is no shortcut to happiness, but maybe dancing on this team is one of them.”

Shelbie Suber

Shelbie Suber, of Ellisville, tried out for the Saintsations last year and didn’t make the team. She took the setback in stride and tried again. “I love the Saints, and I pushed myself to be the best I can be. Being on this team will help me accomplish that and stay motivated.”

Sarah Friday, of Ocean Springs, believes in perseverance, too. “If it is your dream, it doesn’t matter how many times they tell you ‘no’ or how many times you fall on your face. Keep going! It’s hard to beat someone who never gives up.”

Being a member of the Saintsations, says Friday, has inspired her to make healthier choices when it comes to her diet. Eating well and working out are two of the messages she reinforces when meeting with younger women. Finally, adds Friday, “I would not have the confidence, dedication, determination and patience I have without this team. They are the most wonderful women you will ever meet.”

Alexis Barbaresi

“Being a Saintsation has made me a better person,” says Alexis Barbaresi, of Hattiesburg. “The most exciting aspect of being on this team is knowing that I get to do what I love. Being a professional dancer is something I have dreamed of my whole life, and now it’s real.” Of goals and dreams, Barbaresi says, “Go for it! Listen to your heart, envision yourself pursuing your dreams, and work hard every single day until you have accomplished your heart’s deepest desires.”

There you have it, 11 outstanding reasons to be proud of these Saintsations for being role models and ambassadors for Mississippi. While they come from different backgrounds and have all struggled with the ups and downs life can throw their way, there’s one thing they all have in common. Tenacity.

So, when someone tells you that you can’t do something — or maybe it’s your own inner-voice sending that message — straighten your shoulders and reach for the stars and yell — Who Dat! Because “dat” will be you soaring to new heights.

Photo of the Day – November 24


Rachel embracing the rain at Dolphins versus Cowboys game on Sunday

Petition to Bring the Charlotte KnightinGals Back

The Charlotte Knight minor league baseball team recently made the decision to discontinue the popular Charlotte KnghinGals Dance Team. But fans have starteed an online petition to save team.




Go here to sign the petition to bring back the KnighinGals.

[KnightinGals Petition at]

Tampa Bay Lightning Ice Girls

Well I guess technically not Ice Girls since they are deemed too hot to be allowed on the Ice during games!!

Saw a great game the other night as the Lightning scored in the last 60 seconds to beat the Blue Shirts from Madison Square Garden.

Added a batch of photos to the back of Lightning Girls album—enjoy:

01-Kelly and Taylor

Kelly and Taylor













08-Erin and Liz

Erin and Liz


Erica Taelor Alyssa Cady Kori Erin Amy Elena


Isabella and Alyssa

Click the photo above for the Lightning Girls Flickr Gallery.

[Tampa Bay Lightning Girls]

Meet Brookelyn: Colts Cheerleader of the Week


Hey all you Colts Fans! It might be getting a little cold out there, but I’m Brookelyn, here to warm you up as your Cheerleader of the Week!

This is my second season as a Sweetheart of the Horseshoe, and let me tell you, the second audition to make the team was almost scarier than the first! I feel absolutely blessed to have another year on this team with these amazing women. I’m extremely fortunate to be surrounded by such inspiring women week in and week out. There is no other group like the Colts Cheer family. I know I could go to any of my teammates for support and understanding. That is something I will never take for granted on this team!

Just this summer I moved in with three other cheerleaders! It has been a crazy ride and I love it. It’s so nice to come home from a long day and be able to vent, laugh, and talk with my best friends. We all have such different work lives so sharing those experiences is always a good time. This year I am also coaching a high school varsity dance team. I work with them on dance technique, performance routines, and competition season is almost here. I love that dance is part of so much in my life; I definitely do not think I’ll be able to give it up anytime soon.

I want to thank my family for always believing in me and always making sure I knew they were proud of my accomplishments. I also want to thank my best friend CC Cassia for convincing me to try out two years ago when I was so scared and unconfined in myself. And finally, a big thank you to the Colts Organization and our Colts Fans for treating the cheerleaders so well; I feel extremely appreciated and supported!


You were a rookie last year. Now being a veteran, how has this year been different for you?
This year is much different from last year! I feel much more relaxed and confident. As a rookie, everything is new and a little overwhelming. This year I have really enjoyed knowing what to expect at practices, games, and other events we do. Also this year I feel much closer to my teammates, of course we all have good relationships, but now I feel an even stronger connection with my team. This year is different because I finally understand and take to heart what our coach preaches often, “Dreams work when the team works.” I now know what that truly means; put the team before yourself individually. I hope to continue being a veteran for a few more years!

Tell us how you spent your bye-week!

You would think bye-week would be a good break, but I feel like I was as busy as ever! From teacher meetings, to coaching dance team practice, to a Colts College Tailgate Tour at Hanover, to extra workouts, it went fast!! As weird as it sounds, I missed practice. I love seeing my best friends and catching up on their lives every Tuesday and Thursday.

You had a birthday last week. How did you celebrate?
My birthday was so great this year. My boyfriend took me to dinner at Ruth Christ; I felt so fancy! Also, my roommates, CC Sammie, Jessica, and Leslie Ann got me the cutest gifts. They found Cookie Monster pajama pants, and since my nickname is Cookie, it was a perfect fit.

Alongside being an English teacher, in 2014 you were named Purdue’s Most Outstanding English Education senior. Is there a particular reason why you chose the English major?
I actually tried two other majors before I decided on teaching. As I went into college I thought about being a teacher, but with all the negativity surrounding the profession, I decided to try a few other things. But I soon realized that teaching was my passion. I picked English because the degree allows me to teach 6th grade to high school seniors; so many opportunities to move around in age groups. Also, I absolutely love reading. When I read I can put myself in the stories; and I feel the character’s emotions. Reading has always been an engaging experience for me that I wanted to try to instill in students.

Your favorite appearance as an Indianapolis Colts Cheerleader has been…
My favorite appearance was dancing in Honduras on July 4th this last summer. We were there less than 48 hours, but it was a jam-packed blast. I fed off the crowd’s energy, and they were super excited. I love performing, and this opportunity to travel out of the country and entertain fans was a once in a lifetime experience.

Saintsations, Tiger Girls, Golden Girls Reflect on Experience, Friendships

By Kayla Randall
The Daily Reveille

“A Tiger on Saturdays and a Saint on Sundays” holds true for the Golden Girls and Tiger Girls who dance their way to the Saintsations after graduation.

An insanely competitive career, young women who aspire to be professional cheerleaders must devote their lives to dancing to get to the top of the pyramid, the NFL.

For four former Golden Girls and Tiger Girls, agreed their experiences and relationships cultivated at LSU are why they became Saintsations, the official cheerleaders of the New Orleans Saints.


Most Saintsations dancers are not full-time. Former Tiger Girl and Saintsation Heidi Walker was a pharmaceutical representative while working and continued since then.

Former Golden Girl and Saintsation Harmony Thibodeaux became a professor during her time as a Saintsation and balanced teaching classes on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays with cheering for the Saints on Sundays.


“One day I was in class, and one of my students raised her hand with a question,” Thibodeaux said. “She was like ‘I went to the game last night, and I swear I saw a cheerleader on the field who looked like you. Was that you?’”

Thibodeaux was older than most Saintsations when she auditioned at 25 after receiving her master’s degree. She said NFL cheerleaders deserve to be paid more so they don’t have to juggle so many other jobs, while maintaining their bodies and looks.

Despite the salary, Thibodeaux said Saintsations was a valuable experience and she treasures her time with the Golden Girls.

“When you think of the stereotype of an NFL cheerleader, you don’t think, ‘Oh she’s a college professor,’ or, ‘Oh she’s an accountant,’” Thibodeaux said. “Women can really do anything, and most of these women are beautiful, brilliant, kind and funny, and they inspire me so much.”


Even before college and the Saintsations, Walker danced all her life.

After graduating from LSU with a kinesiology degree, she quickly became a Saintsation. Hailing from Lake Charles, Louisiana, Walker said she didn’t know much about Saintsations but auditioned nevertheless.

There were three days of auditioning. On the first day, dancers worked on routines, then on the second day those who made the cut were chosen for professional business interviews and to take a football knowledge test. Finally, applicants danced again on day three, and many were asked on-the-spot questions by supervisors.

Since graduating from LSU in 2010, this year is her first not working as a Saintsation. Walker said the organization only allows women to be Saintsations for four years.

“People always say, ‘You’ve retired,’ and I like to feel like I graduated,” Walker said. “It feels a little bit younger.”

There is one exception to the Saintsation four year rule. If a woman is selected as a prestigious Pro-Bowl cheerleader, she gets an extra year, which Walker accomplished.

Walker’s journey was not easy, as her first attempt for the Tiger Girls did not go as planned.

“I made it as a sophomore, and I think that made me appreciate it a little bit more because I had to really work for it,” Walker said.

She stayed on for her remaining three years at the university.

Walker recently judged the Tiger Girl auditions, and she said she now realizes how special a dancer must be to be considered.

“The talent gets better and better every year,” Walker said. “Every time I watch I’m like, ‘I wouldn’t make this team this year.’”


Walker said she loved her time with the Tiger Girls and calls it a combination of playing a sport and being in a sorority. The team participated in competitions, sporting events and did promotional and still had what Walker deemed “girl bonding.”

The dancers are forced to hang out multiple times a week during practices and events, and their relationships become essential, Walker said.

“You don’t have much time for a social life, but it’s OK because those are all your friends,” Walker said. “Not being on the team this year, I’ve kind of laughed that I don’t have any friends anymore.”

One of those friends is Maggie DeWitt, a former Tiger Girl, four-year Saintsation and current New Orleans Pelicans dancer. DeWitt and Walker danced together with the Tiger Girls and Saintsations.

“I feel like it made LSU that much more enjoyable,” DeWitt said. “The girls that I met in Tiger Girls, I’m still friends with a lot of them today. Some of them we actually did Saintsations together, and some we’re now on Pelicans together.”

DeWitt said most people don’t know what it’s like to be on a competitive dance team like Tiger Girls or a professional cheerleader like Saintsations, so they don’t understand the level of depth of their relationships.

“When you’re on a competitive dance team, you’re together more than you probably want to be together,” DeWitt said. “Christmas break every year as a Tiger Girl, you spend all of that break with your teammates and not your family because you’re practicing for nationals. So you’re with each other 12 hours a day, and you form bonds with these girls that you really can’t describe or replace.”

Heidey Hanks, a Tiger Girl and former Golden Girl and marketing senior, and Morgan Welsh, a former Golden Girl and Saintsation, know this bond well. Despite living in different cities, the two still talk on a daily basis.

“We’re like best friends,” Welsh said. “We’re still really close. Golden Girls opened a lot of doors for me just as a person helping me grow, but it gave me a lot of strong friendships along the way.”

Hanks met Welsh when the two were Golden Girls together. Welsh said she was initially apprehensive about Hanks.

“My first year on the team, they made us stand by each other,” Welsh said. “I was like, ‘Oh my goodness, I’m standing by a new girl, got to be on my Ps and Qs.’ Then we ended up becoming the best of friends. I mean, she gave me flowers for my birthday.”

“In both Golden Girls and Tiger Girls, you never get sick of each other,” Hanks said. “We all have the same drive and focus. It’s a sorority in its own way.”

Baltimore Blast Cheerleaders

On Saturday, November 14, the Baltimore Blast of the Major Arena Soccer League played their second home game of the season. They defeated the Syracuse Silver Knights 6-0. The Blast Cheerleaders entertained the crowd with their sideline routines and performance between the 3rd and 4th quarters. Fans got to meet some of the players and cheerleaders on the field after the game. Here are some photos from the game.







[Blast Cheerleaders Gallery]

From Augustana Vikings to Minnesota Vikings, Twins from Sioux Falls Cheer Professionally


The Minnesota Vikings are now 7-2 and leading the NFC North. Of course the players and fans are happy, but so are the cheerleaders, especially two from Sioux Falls.

Kirsten and Karmen Nyberg are twins and graduates of both Lincoln High School and Augustana College. The two tried out for the Vikings squad this year, and they both made the team on their first try.

“I don’t think we ever fully expected to make it this far, especially on our first try,” Kirsten Nyberg said.

“We grew up as cheerleaders and dancers, so the epitome and the biggest, highest tier you can get in the dance world is to cheer for the NFL,” she said.

After an extensive try-out process, the two waited for that phone call. Kevin Nyberg, the twins’ dad, said he wasn’t sure if they would make the team after seeing all the women who tried out.

“I got to tell you. I left Minneapolis and thought ‘there’s no way they are going to make the team this first year.’ It is that competitive. You have 150 women trying out and 35 make it. I would imagine next year you will even have more women trying out because of the new stadium,” Kevin said.

He also said he was not sure what he would do if one would have made the team and the other had not.

“You do think of that, and especially the day that one of them got the call, and you’re just hoping the other gets the call, so there’s a lot of tension,” Kevin Nyberg says.

Luckily both got the call. “I got the call before Karmen which was funny, but she was kind of panicking, but as soon as I hung up that phone, two seconds later, Karmen found out that she made the team as well,” Kirsten said.

“We were elated, especially being Vikings fans. We get to go up and see them every weekend. We’re having a lot of fun with it as parents also,” Kevin said.

The woman have been cheering at all the home games and doing a lot of meet and greets, especially here in Sioux Falls.

“I thought it was really cool that the Vikings cheerleaders came because they are twins, and I like their uniform,” 2nd grader Isabella Quintanilla said.

Quintanilla is one of many youngsters who participated in the Augustana Cheer Camp put on by the Nyberg’s old cheer coach.

“I was like wow, they’re actually here,”4th grader Grace Hansen said.

“They were so pretty, and I told them about my school,” 4-year-old Brooke Weber said.

“My favorite part was dancing to them because I want to be a cheerleader when I get big,” Brooke added.

“I love that they have taken the time to come back and be with the kids here today as well as my team of cheerleaders and dancers,” Augustana Spirit Squad advisor Jenna Simpson said.

Simpson coached Kristen and Karmen at Lincoln High School and at Augustana College. Simpson was also a teammate of the twins for the Sioux Falls Storm dance team, the Lightning.

“It’s such a phenomenal thing for them to see,” Jenna said. “Sometimes you just get stuck on ‘oh, I’m just in Sioux Falls’ or at this smaller school, but they have done it. They have gone after it and shown that it is an obtainable dream,” she said.

The two say they don’t forget about their South Dakota roots, as they have many fans from back home.

“It’s so exciting to come back here and coming to events like this and the community comes out and supports us. It’s helpful that Minnesota is so close, so we have such a big fan base here,” Kirsten said.

“Everywhere we go when we represent the team, we see people from Sioux Falls, and they are so into it, and so excited to meet us,” Karmen said.

All 35 cheerleaders have to try-out again next season. The Vikings will be in the brand new U.S. Bank Stadium. As Kevin said, and both Kirsten and Karmen added that they agree, they expect many more than 150 women will try out next season because of the perk of the new indoor stadium.

Photo of the Day – November 20


A pair of New York Lizards Dancers

Life as an NFL Cheerleader: It’s Perfection, or Bust!

By Sam Cooley
Ottawa Sun

With her elbows bent and her upper arms exactly parallel to the lobby floor, Evony Thompson demonstrated a perfect pushup … because nothing less is acceptable at the NFL level.

“You have to do 25 of them,” she said. “Non stop.”

Thompson, 23, is a native of Tennessee and is also the youngest and most physically fit member of the Tennessee Titans’ cheerleaders.


She and three members of the cheer squad flew to Ottawa to meet with local fans for a promotional party in the Byward Market during Thursday night’s game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Though she is the newest member of the team, Thompson has carved herself a place of respect among the other 26 cheerleaders.

“She is our team fitness champion, two years running,” said Stacie Kinder, the Titans’ cheerleading director.

Kinder said her husband, an Olympian, puts the team through gruelling physical training sessions to prepare them for four hours of marathon-like dance routines during National Football League games.

Before getting a shot to sign a one-year contract, the women must pass four out of five elements of a demanding fitness test.

Thompson easily destroyed the tests like an Ottawan eats a BeaverTail. (The Titans cheerleaders said they had neither heard about, nor consumed, any of Bytowne’s famous BeaverTails while in the capital.)

“There’s a lot of things I want to eat, but I can’t,” she said.

Similar to other members of the squad, past and present, Thompson is a university grad in psychology and communications. She also has a full-time career at Tesla Motors, where she works as a product specialist.

Her colleagues on the team hold down jobs in accounting, entertainment and the legal field, among other pursuits.

Thompson views her commitment to the Titans as a professional hobby that is separate from her day job.

She said she first got her start in the automotive world while in school; during the summers.

“…to pay for school in cash I would buy cars from auctions and resell them for three times as much,” she said.

What it took to pass this season’s cheerleader test:

25 perfect pushups;
25 V-ups (an abdominal exercise);
100 step-ups within two minutes;
A one-mile run within eight minutes;
12 repetitions of a 25-metre sprint.
Four of five conditions must be met, according to Kinder, otherwise you don’t make the cut

Buccaneers Beat The Cowboys In Tampa

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers handed the Dallas Cowboys their seventh consecutive loss, 10 to 6. Using the glass half full/half empty philosophy this was viewed as either a defensive masterpiece or offensive inefficiency. Doesn’t matter, a victory is sweet, especially over the Cowpokes.

The TBBC had a rain free performance although a bit cloudy for most of the game. The last few photos in the album captured the excitement of Ali and Megan once the victory was secured. Glad to finally see all the smiles at post game. Congratulations out to everyone in the organization.

This coming Sunday we travel to South Beach to visit the MDC.

Use the slide show in Flickr to enjoy the album.


















Click the photo above for the Bucs Cheerleaders Gallery.

[Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cheerleaders]

Photo of the Day – November 19


Carolyn at Philadelphia Soulmates Finals on Tuesday.

For Titans Cheerleader Hannah, family, friendships, and football all connect in perfect step

Hannah is in her second season with the Tennessee Titans Cheerleaders

Hannah is in her second season with the Tennessee Titans Cheerleaders

The NFL’s “Football is Family” campaign is also often embodied by the league’s cheerleaders. For instance, Hannah, a second year Tennessee Titans Cheerleader, and her dad have a special football bond. “Both of my parents attended Alabama, and my dad had the opportunity to play football for the legendary Coach Bear Bryant,” Hannah says. “My dad and I share a love of football together, so to be able to talk football with him and go to games together was really special, and still are. We have even continued our tradition of attending the first game of the season together, just he and I, and that is my favorite Alabama game all year.”

Like a lot of recent Alabama student-athletes, Hannah made it to the NFL! Hannah shared with UltimateCheerleaders how knee issues could not deter her goal since ninth grade goal to be an NFL Cheerleader, how Hannah and her sisters show that their hometown of may be the “City of Sisterly Love,” and how her dog Walt’s double dose of intelligence allows him to make Hannah perform tricks in the morning before she can leave home.

Hannah is originally from Jasper, Alabama, and is one of three sisters, which inspired her choice for “favorite book” in her online Titans Cheerleader bio. “Weird Sisters Is a book I picked up at the airport not having any knowledge about the book and the story line,” Hannah explains. “However, it just spoke to me, so I bought it. It turns out it was a story about a family of five with three daughters. I am a family of five and the middle child of two other sisters. The book just touched me and I related to it so well, because it talks about the ups and downs of siblings, but no matter what in the end you will always have your sisters.”

Hannah during her rookie season

Hannah during her rookie season

“I am very blessed to have two amazing sisters,” Hannah continues. “Both have taught me so much about life and about myself. When I think about Meghan, my oldest sister, I think about how she was always a very motherly sister to me, she has such a selfless heart, and would go above and beyond for me. She is the sister that would give me ideas, helped me bring out my creative side, and she always let me tag along with her. We also lived together in college, and she would do anything for me, she one time even brought me a paper that I forgot to my 8:00 AM class. Thanks Megs!”

“Now, when I think of Hallie Grace, my youngest sister, she is a little spitfire. I was very quiet when I was younger and still kind of am today, and she is my sister who would be my voice and speak out for me when I wouldn’t. She always taught me to believe in myself, which, I think, speaks volume for who she is as a person. Also, we both also are pretty witty and sarcastic, her a little more so than me. For example, she once gave me a birthday card that said, ‘To the pretty one in the family.’ I opened it up to find it say, ‘From the absolutely gorgeous one.’ So when we are together we usually are laughing a lot.”

Hannah’s youth was busily filled with gymnastics, dance, and cheerleading. “I was very busy growing up balancing mostly dance and gymnastics, and I wouldn’t trade that for anything,” Hannah says. “I started dance when I was two and gymnastics when I was four years old at Marilyn Sanders Performing Arts Center in Jasper, Alabama. While I loved dance, gymnastics was my first passion that I truly enjoyed and loved. However, my mom never let me give up dance, because she knew it would help me succeed in gymnastics! I was a competitive level eight gymnast at American Gymnastics in Birmingham, Alabama, when I stopped competing due to Osgood-Schlatter disease, which is essentially an inflamed growth plate below your kneecap.”


Hannah recalls, “Leaving gymnastics was very hard for me. It was my life. I practiced 24 hours a week during the school year, and around 30 during the summer. However lucky for me, I can thank my mom for continuing to book those Sunday afternoon dance privates, because I was able to turn my full focus back to dance. Then a couple years later after the Osgood-Schlatter settled down, don’t get me wrong it still hurts me ‘til this day, I tried out for ACE All-Stars of Alabama, and cheered competitively with them for four years, while still dancing first days a week. So, Tuesday, Thursdays, Fridays, and Sundays, I would be in dance class, and Mondays and Wednesdays I would be at cheer practice.”

Continue reading For Titans Cheerleader Hannah, family, friendships, and football all connect in perfect step