Why did you join cheerleading?
Like most young girls I joined Cheerleading because my friend was doing it. I was only 7 years old when I first joined Starlets and it looked like something fun and new to try. My Mum also thought it looked like a good idea and I have never looked back!
What’s your favourite cheerleading uniform you have worn throughout the years?
My favourite cheer uniform has got to be my All Girl Group Stunt level 5/6 ‘Plum’ 2013-2014 uniform as it was really comfortable to compete in. It was black shorts with a white, black and purple crop top and had plum written on the front. We normally just wore our main cheer uniforms for group stunt so was exciting to have individual group stunt uniforms to compete in.
What’s has been your biggest achievement in cheer to date?
My biggest achievement in cheer was firstly my stunt group – Plum being selected to represent Team England in the group stunt division for two consecutive years. We placed an amazing 5th at the ICU Cheerleading World Championships! I was so proud! It was such an amazing accomplishment and experience to be a part of. This is still the highest result that England has ever placed in that division.
What’s your favourite part of a routine?
The best part of the routine is definitely the main stunts. I feel like this is the part which really makes or breaks a routine. Every cheerleader knows that feeling you get when you and your team hit the stunt section and hear the crowd going crazy. It feels incredible and you are buzzing for the rest of the routine. I enjoy stunting the most as it has the most risk to it and you can be so creative with the choreography.
You have very good technique as a base, how did you become so good?
Thank you so much!, I really just took every opportunity that was given to me and you can usually find me at most open gyms throughout the week with my stunt group trying to push myself further. Good technique certainly doesn’t just happen – you have to work hard and persevere! You can teach technique but it only becomes stronger with experience and so the more I trained the more I understood how to change the stunt or how to adapt to changes within it. I always try to learn everything I can from anyone who has coached me and I normally won’t stop stunting until the stunt hits.
What advice would you give to an athlete who wants to improve their basing technique?
I think the best way to improve your skills is to practise practise practise and get in as much training as you can with different people. It is important to be adaptable and therefore stunting with different people will help this. Basics are also very important and if you cannot do the drills or steps leading up to a skill then take a step back and really ensure the drill is perfect before moving on.
So just remember – Practice makes perfect and don’t forget the basics!
You’re always trying new stunt sequences what motivates you to push yourself?
I absolutely love stunting and pushing my own limits and skills. We can never stop learning! , When I see other people or even American teams attempting new skills, it makes me want to try it too. You never know unless you try and if I don’t get it first time then I keep practising! It’s such a big reward hitting a skill/ stunt sequence that top level teams do and watching it back to see what you’ve achieved. It’s always easy to motivate yourself when you love what you’re doing.
What is it like being point stunt group on Amethyst?
I love being centre point stunt group as I think it constantly pushes you and drives you to try harder as anyone can overtake you and take that place throughout the season. British cheer has just exploded recently and it’s great to see teams hitting great routines and pushing each other to hit cleaner or harder skills. Centre point stunt group is a hard place to be at times but it only pushes me to work even harder and if I fail, I pick myself up and try again!
You should never be afraid to fail, it’s all part of what shapes you as a cheerleader and it’s how you handle it and move on that counts.
What was it like when you represented Team England in group stunt?
It was such an amazing opportunity and I loved every second of it. I have never been so nervous standing there behind the curtain and waiting to go on, knowing that everyone is watching you. I always have confidence in my stunt group though and when we hit on that worlds floor, it was the best feeling ever knowing we had done well whilst we were representing our country. It was such a humbling and incredible experience – something I will never forget.
So many athletes have mental blocks do you have any and if so how did you get over it?
Like most, I too have suffered with mental blocks in the past. I was capable of roundoff straights on floor and full twists on a tumble track but at one point I couldn’t even roundoff tuck without shaking and becoming really nervous.
My advice would be to take your time and don’t push yourself to do the skill if you don’t feel confident, take five minutes and imagine yourself doing the skill perfectly and then come back and build back up to the skill doing drills. If it helps you can also have a spot to make you feel safer or go into a pit/ onto a mat and just work your way back up to your skills. Most importantly don’t think about it 24/7 when you’re not in the gym as it will make it worse when you go back to doing it again.
What skill are you working on next?
Next my stunt group are working on a 720 (double) low to high tick tock! We know it will be a big challenge but we are determined to give it a go and see what happens.
Who has been your biggest influence in the Cheer community?
My biggest influence in the cheer community has to be my older sister who was previously on Starlets and also went to worlds back in 2007. She was a base in the group stunt before me, so we kept it in the family! It was nice to have someone to look up to at that time and I’m glad to have followed in her footsteps and also compete at Worlds!
What’s your favourite cheer memory and why?
My favourite cheer memory is probably performing at the London 2012 Olympics in the basketball arena. We were asked to perform routines in half time or breaks throughout the games. We all stayed together in London as a team and it was such a fun and a once in a lifetime experience.
My favourite UK Cheer team is Ascension eagles because when i was younger I always remember watching Legacy and thinking they were just amazing and on another level compared to everyone else. It is so good to see their senior teams coming back and I’m excited to see what they will do next. My favourite non UK cheer team is World Cup Shooting stars as I think they have so much originality in their routines and I always love watching their routines at worlds.
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