September 17th was anything but a normal day for me, in fact it was kind of a significant day. This was the day that I performed as a Saints cheerleader for the first time. For most people that probably doesn’t sound like a big deal, but it was for me. When I was in high school I was on dance team and our school’s dance team and cheer team had a major rivalry. When I left high school I didn’t really have any intentions to join Saint Scholastica’s dance team but I definitely didn’t think I would end up on the cheer team. As a senior going into my freshmen year of college a friend of mine suggested that I try out for the team with her and I was very adamant about saying no. After my first year of college I realized something was missing in my life and that something happened to be being on a team.
The spring semester of my freshman year of college I had made up my mind, I was going to try out to become a cheerleader. At tryouts the dancing came easily to me but the cheering and stunting was more of a challenge. All I could do was do my best and I was elated to hear that my best had been good enough for a spot on the team. Over the summer I trained hard to get into shape and got my butt kicked by the cheer overnight, the U of M camp and early move in. All of that hard work was all for that first game.
I really struggled keeping up with all the cheers that we learned so it probably doesn’t come as a surprise that when the week of the first football game came up, I was a nervous wreck. I had always had some performance anxiety but never really like this. I felt like I wasn’t going to be able to hear the cheers when they called them or I was going to mess up all the cheers and make a fool of myself. Luckily for me, I had practice a lot on my own before the game and only messed up a small portion of one of the many cheers that we lead on that Saturday afternoon.
Another thing that I was extremely nervous about was the game day stunting. Prior to the game there had been some changes to our stunting groups and I was worried that our stunts wouldn’t go up very well. I don’t know if it was the adrenaline or just a really good stunting day for my stunt group but everything that we put in the air stayed up. It felt amazing to have all of our preps hit so strongly, especially after having struggled with them at the last practice. Every cheer that we did while in a prep went off without a single hitch!
Overall, it was a really good experience. I enjoyed watching our football boys win the first home game of the season and trying to convince the crowd to cheer them on alongside us. I really hadn’t realized how much I missed performing in front of a crowd. Its nerve racking but in so many ways it is also very rewarding. I am glad that I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and decided to try out to be a cheerleader. I love my team and I am so excited to see what is to come next for us Saints. Let’s go Saints!
-Submitted by Victoria Hansen, Sophomore