The music is blaring. Shiny red pom-poms are thrown in the air. Black, crimson and white uniforms moving in sync with each other. Chapman’s cheerleaders are doing one of their dance routines for the crowd, adding a strong and positive energy to the game. Get to know three of the ladies on the cheerleading squad responsible for the Panther spirit.
Jordan Haley is a junior economics major and, as of this semester, a co-captain of the cheer squad. She’s been cheering on campus since she was a sophomore.
Tryouts last three days, and for the 2017-18 school year are May 1 – 3.
“You just learn a dance and a couple cheers,” Haley said. “You get two days to learn all of them. On the third day, you go and tryout with a group of three girls.”
The captains create the routines and the graduating seniors are there to assist during the learning process.
“I love that we can be a positive impact on campus,” Haley said. “It was the best thing I could have done for myself at Chapman.”
Haley started cheering her freshman year of high school, as her neighbor was a cheerleader and taught Haley her routines, convincing her to start herself. She’s also a sports fan, so the positivity that surrounds the events already drew her in.
Fiona Zaring is a junior television broadcast journalism major. She’s the co-captain of the squad and has been cheering since her sophomore year.
“It’s really great that we get to support the athletics program,” Zaring said. “It’s a great way to be involved and to meet new people on campus.”
When it comes to juggling cheer and school, Zaring doesn’t mind the work.
“It’s just a fun opportunity to take a break from school,” Zaring said. “Practices and games are definitely a time commitment so we have to be sure to balance, but it’s worth it.”
Zaring was a dancer before she started cheering. Unable to join the dance team at her high school because of her studio, she joined cheer instead. She ended up quitting dance to commit to cheer.
Madelyn Wilcox is a sophomore television writing and production major. She’s been cheering since last semester.
The cheer squad doesn’t tumble or do stunts for safety reasons, so trying out could be another option for dancers if they want to try something new.
“I love performing. As a dancer, that was always my favorite part,” Wilcox said. “It’s being spirited. It’s just fun.”
Wilcox had only been a dancer before cheerleading at Chapman. She decided to tryout to meet new people.
“It’s hard to meet other people that you don’t have classes with, it’s a new way to meet other girls too,” she said.