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Detroit’s Jocelyn transitions to her rookie season with the elite Tennessee Titans Cheerleaders

Rookie Titans Cheerlader Jocelyn will be enjoying game day on her birthday

In the past, I have described the Tennessee Titans Cheerleaders as “America’s Cheerleaders,” because they usually not only have members from the breadth of their home state, but also include coast to coast, north to south representatives. And lately, it seems like Michigan serves as a home state for Titans Cheerleaders. Not only is veteran Yalea a member of the squad from Michigan, but new rookie Jocelyn is originally from Detroit.

Prior to the Titans Cheerleaders’ Halloween costume game against the Niners, Jocelyn shared with UltimateCheerleaders her path from Motown to the sidelines of Nash-vegas, why she sometimes might seem a bit hoarse after gameday, and why she is still a diehard fan of one Detroit team that should not conflict with her fellow Nashville sports fans. Oh, and besides today being a day for another big LP Field home game during her rookie year, we also give Jocelyn a super tremendous “HAPPY BIRTHDAY!” shout-out!

Jocelyn moved to Nashville about five years ago after graduating from college to start her career. “My first job, I worked with young adults from 16 to 23 for transitional services,” Jocelyn explains. “So I would teach them independent living skills, how to get a job, how to open up a bank account, write a check, finances. A lot of my young adults had disabilities, either mental or behavioral disabilities. It was pretty rewarding. Most of my kids really did great, after about a year in the program, they could do pretty much anything on their own.”

Jocelyn is now a Service Coordinator and part-time fitness instructor, particularly Zumba. Jocelyn has been dancing since age four and attended Detroit’s performing arts high school. During her dance career, Jocelyn explained, “We did a lot of jazz, hip-hop, modern; and ballet was my thing. Actually, it was between going into a professional dance career or college, because Katherine Dunham Dance Studio in St. Louis asked me to join the company, but I thought, ‘I think I am going to go to college.’” Jocelyn graduated from Alabama A & M in Huntsville.

After several years in Nashville, what prompted Jocelyn to finally try out for the Titans? “At first, I did not want to, because I was scared,” laughs Jocelyn. “I was super intimidated, just because I hadn’t danced for two or three years. And I thought, ‘I don’t think I have it anymore.’ But my friend tried out. She said, ‘Just do it, you probably will make it.’”

“The first year, I did not make it, and I was discouraged,” Jocelyn recalls. “But people at the audition told me I did really well, that I needed to try again and go back out. And I was really glad that I did, because I was really feeling defeated at first.”

It looks like Jocelyn parachuted right from the sky for the Halloween game

But at only about 25 members, in a Nashville full of multi-talented, entertainment oriented people, making the Titans Cheerleaders is not an easy task. “One of the girls last year was finishing up school in Virginia,” Jocelyn described, “and she was flying back and forth. And then this year, Kristen, she is a rookie, she was flying back and forth from Texas. So you do feel honored, like wow, people come from everywhere to try out.”

So asked about her first game as a Titans Cheerleader, Jocelyn says, “I thought I was going to be nervous, and I was more excited than anything. I thought I was going to freak out, mess up; and I was so excited. I was into the game, and my family came, and they said, ‘You looked so happy and excited,’ and that’s really what I wanted to show. I didn’t want to show that I was nervous. And ever since then, I’m not nervous, it’s just fun. You go out there and you cheer.”

So, at LP Field, there are tens of thousands of fans, but maybe it really does not seem like that many for a cheerleader on the field? Jocelyn replied, laughing, “Oh it does! It does, (the fans) go on forever. But I think what is good is that I get into the game, and I yell, ‘GO! RUN!’ So I am into the game, so the fans say, ‘Oh my goodness, she really knows what is going on in the game.’ So it is pretty natural actually. I love it!”

Jocelyn gets into the game on the sidelines

So she is now cheering, and yelling at times, supporting the Titans, but did Jocelyn start off a Lions fan? “Yes and no,” answers Jocelyn. “My dad actually grew up in Ohio, so he is Ohio everything: THE Ohio State University, Cleveland Browns, Cleveland Indians. But being from Detroit, you kind of have to support your home team. So yes and no, you still watched the game, but I was not a huge Lions fan.”

But there is one team from Detroit that Jocelyn does still support to the n’th degree. “I am a huge Pistons fan though!” Jocelyn explains. “Diehard Pistons fan, they could lose the whole season, and I would not care.”

So Jocelyn, with a life of dance, has found a new outlet for her long time passion. So for the rookie, is being a Titans Cheerleader what she expected? “It is more than what you expect,” Jocely replies. “I don’t think you are ever prepared. Even at my job, they are constantly asking me about it, ‘What did you do, how was it?’ And my family, oh my goodness. My dad, this is his first time coming to a Titans game today. My family lives in New Jersey now, so he came all the way down to see me. And he said, ‘Well, I am going to buy 20 calendars, if that’s okay.’ I said, ‘That’s awesome!’”

Jocelyn’s easy laugh and true fanhood illustrate a performer who is glad to be part of the Titans Cheerleader, but with an appreciation for the opportunity magnified because it would have been so easy to have not tried out in the first place or not returned for a second try-out. Like the young people she has helped progress in their lives, Jocelyn showed persistence to advance to, in her case, to transition to an elite NFL squad. So LP Field fans, if you see Jocelyn yelling and dancing in support of her Titans, appreciate her dedication to dance, fitness, and the Titans, and give her a birthday cheer while you are at it! Of course, the Titans could give Jocelyn a pretty good gift today also, a win!

Happy birthday and thanks so much to Jocelyn, and Stacie Kinder, the Tennessee Titans Director of Cheerleading/Entertainment and Robbie Bohren of the Titans for all of their assistance!

 

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