This past year Leandra as a junior in high school, had been on the varsity cheerleading team. I am happy to announce that last weekend cheerleader tryouts were held for the 2014-2015 school year.
Of course Leandra tried out again.
I can remember when she was a little girl no more than 6 years old. She told me that she wanted to be the girl they throw in the air on a cheerleading team. Being a super young mom and not very financially stable, I was not able to afford cheerleading or tumbling classes.
I would catch my precious Leandra in the mirror trying to mimic the moves of the cheerleaders that she saw on TV. She even taught herself to do a back handspring. I was extremely proud of her.
When she was about 6-7 years old, we moved from Illinois to Texas and she met her cousin, Breanne. Breanne was a cheerleader at her middle school and then high school. She was also a member of a cheer team outside of school. She taught Leandra a few things.
I also worked briefly with a girl who was a cheerleader in her high school and eventually becoming a cheerleader in college. She too had never had any formal cheer, tumbling or dance training. She taught my baby girl some techniques that she still practices today. I knew that even though I could not afford the classes, Leandra could follow her dreams if she really wanted to.
For Leandras 8th grade in middle school, she wanted to participate in cheerleading. There were no tryouts or anything like that. They just signed up, paid their fees and they were cheerleaders. The cheerleaders cheered at home football games and danced at home basketball games. The cheer coach taught these girls A LOT!
Going into high school, Leandra tried out for the freshman cheer squad and of course made it. All the girls that tried out made it. Then she took a year off her sophomore year. I guess in her mind she was making sure she really wanted to pursue her dream.
For her junior year, she went into tryouts with the goal not to make the junior varsity team, but to actually defy the odds and make the varsity team. I remember the call when she called so excited to tell me she made the team. Only 5 juniors had made the team out of 17 team members. Not only did she make the team, but she was on of the 4 flyers. This was her dream.
I think that going into the recent cheer tryouts, she was a bit over confident. She had been a member of the varsity team for a year and kinda knew what to expect. But anything can happen. The sponsor for this past year was not a good sponsor at all. The tryout practice was only 4 days. The cheer and chant that the girls had to memorize for the tryouts was given at the 3rd practice and tryouts were held 2 days later. Hopefully this coming year we get a sponsor that actually cares about the girls and the program.
Our tryouts are closed, with 3 independent judges brought in from out of the area. Names are posted hours later outside of the gym. I allowed Leandra to go to the school with one of her friends for the tryouts while I bit my nails to the nubs at home nervous for my baby. After a few hours I sent her a text to see how she did. She responded with “I did bad”. I immediately called her to check on her but she did not sound too upset but told me that she ran out of breath and messed up on one part of the cheer. I quickly got off the phone so I would not feel how nervous I was for her.
When she came home, she was actually mad at me for not telling her not to worry about it.
A few hours later she went back up to the school and then sent me the picture.
I was so proud of my baby girl and still am. She made the varsity cheer squad for her senior year. I will be that mom in the stands with my camera snapping away, screaming for Leandra as she cheers. Dreams can and do come through if you want them bad enough.