So Bianca and I did a thing….. We tried out for the cheerleading team. And we made it.
We first learned of Macquarie Uni’s cheer team from the orientation schedule. There was an event on the schedule called “Come play cheerleading.” Play cheerleading? Who “plays” cheerleading? We certainly don’t. We decided that we should sign up and see what the teams all about by attending the event. We wondered if they were good, how much it cost, if there were tryouts in the middle of the school year (because it’s their second semester), and if it ended before we ended our exchange. All of our questions were answered when we went to “play cheerleading.” The event involved us watching them stunt and getting introduced to some of the team members. They explained that it cost $370 for the semester, that they conduct a second round of tryouts in the middle of the school year because they know exchange students from all over the world may be wanting to tryout and that it ended November 23rd. We leave December 10th so…. we decided that we would attend the tryouts the week after and see what we were getting ourselves into.
As level 5 cheerleaders, Bianca and I walked into tryouts with the utmost confidence. We know we are good and we knew we could handle anything they put in front of us. We tried out with three other girls and one boy. All of them, but one other girl, had never cheered before. I wish you could’ve seen the faces of coaches when we started tumbling. I haven’t tumbled in almost six months and cheered in almost two years. It took me a minute to get used to it, but before I knew it I was pulling round-off-back-handspring-layouts and standing back-handspring-tucks. I was so damn sore the next morning. After we tumbled, we started stunting. Since the other girls and the boy did not know how to stunt, we and the coaches conducting the tryouts ended up teaching the newbies how to stunt. Surprisingly, they weren’t terrible! The girl we had flying with us had a lot of body control and easily got used to the concept of stunting. The craziest part of tryouts was that they asked me to fly myself! I haven’t flown/practiced as a flyer in almost four years. Since I had my growth spurt, I could no longer be a flyer so I started back-spotting. Since Bianca and the other experienced cheerleader were basing me, I was comfortable and easily got used to being in the air again! It was super exhilarating! After tryouts were over, we stayed for a little bit to tumble and talk with the coaches. They immediately offered us positions on the team.
We got an email a few days later explaining that we were being placed on their highest level team, Coed Level 4, as alternates because they have a full team and that we were given full-time positions on their All Girl Level 2 team. We decided to accept both offers because why not. We have nothing else to do on the week days and it’ll give us a chance to make friends!
We attended Level 4’s practice this past Monday. Since their routine is basically complete, we were introduced to the other two alternates and then told to warm up basic stunts with them. The other alternates were two super nice girls, one being a flyer and the other being a back-spot……But I’m a back-spot. So Bianca and I ended up having to base together! I am also a head taller than Bianca, so it is something I am going to have to get used too. At least I’ll be getting quite the workout doing squats for four hours at every practice! But then we were confronted with a flyer who had never flown as a cheerleader before. Luckily she was a natural! She did “acro” for most of her childhood, so her balance and body control was fantastic! We started with preps and ended up successfully having her in extension-libs and heal-stretches. After we got those solid, we started teaching her to do single-twist-downs from a prep-level. (Sorry for all this cheer-talk, if you don’t understand just look up the terms on Youtube!) She was so in control with her body that she was over-rotating so hardcore that she was doing double-twist downs from a prep level! The coaches were astonished! Never have we ever met someone who learned a single and double twist down in the same day!
Overall, we really enjoyed our first practice and are excited to see how the All Girl Level 2-team practice goes on Thursday. But wait, there is more awesome news! Macquarie University’s cheerleading program was asked to perform at the Stanford vs. Rice football game in Sydney, Australia! The game was scheduled to be played in Houston but was moved to Sydney! The game will be airing on American television on August 26th, or August 27th in Australia! The coach said that they usually don’t ask alternates to participate, but they decided to exclusively extend the invitation to Bianca and I, as well as the two other alternates on the Level 4 team. We get new uniforms and make a brand new routine especially for this event! The only down side is that for the next three weekends, we will be spending about 4 hours each Saturday and Sunday training for this game. I’ll update my blog and Facebook with more information when the event comes closer! We’re gunna be on international television! MAKE SURE YOU WATCH! How cool is this?!
Bianca and I are super excited to have been given this opportunity. It is a nostalgic and comforting feeling to cheer again. During tryouts, I caught myself being more giddy and happy than usual. With each movement, my body remembered the motions of a sport I loved for so long and had so much confidence in. I never thought I’d cheer again, but now I have the opportunity too! I am so excited to take advantage of my talents and do what I do best– CHEER!