So...it's the end of September...the cheer series is all done.
But I kinda enjoyed this series...wait- no, I kinda LOVED it. So it's not over. I opened up an Etsy shop called 'CHEER MUSE'...stop by and check it out! I am selling some of the pieces from this series, and also doing custom cheer art, yay!
...and let me tell you, getting this here Etsy shop ready for launch AND trying to finish my last piece the same night, man that made me sleepy! So the last gal is sleepy, just like me...but no doubt dreaming big dreams, of cheerleading...and ART!
...and of course, the most special part of cheerleading for me was getting to cheer alongside the gal that would become my best friend, Amy German.
When I think of cheerleading, it brings me back to my days cheering with Amy, and for that reason cheerleading will always have a special place in my heart.
Amy, I miss you every day friend. Every day.
(Top-Left) That face...just one of her many silly facial expressions (Bottom-Left) One of my favorite pics of Amy (Top-Right) Champion Cheer Camp, final day- awards with the whole team and our private coach (Bottom-Right) ...random pic of us at camp, a rare 'quiet moment'...probably waiting to learn more material...and just realizing how tired we were, camp wears ya out!
This whole month has me feeling all nostalgic. Today I spent some time looking through pictures from the different teams that I have coached and/or worked with. Sometimes, it was just me. Sometimes, I worked alongside other folks. Those folks became friends, good friends.
One thing that I will always remember from that time is when we were having all these practices, prepping for states. Everyday- practice. The team would run it full out, get water rest, repeat. As with most teams there are always last minute injuries, and redoing the routine...calling it stressful is an understatement. I guess it was out last practice before states...and we had something up our sleeves. The team didn't know it, but we had been creating our own 'cheer routine'. They had just run it full out, we had them sitting at the edge of mat...trying to act like we were about to start critiquing them...then we did our own cheer and dance routine.
Now, as far as routines go- we probably wouldn't have scored that high. But it took the edge off, made us all laugh. Silliness is good for the soul.
Then we went to Winston Salem and finished off our season with a win.
The next two years I coached my own team at PBG, the JV cheerleaders but I helped out whenever I could with Ashley's team and with the overall program. I can honestly say that Ashley is one of the most beautiful people I know, inside and out. She radiates love and is exactly the type of person you would want coaching your child. I am so proud to be able to call her my friend, and I wish she wasn't all the way in Jacksonville!
If you are on the West Coast...stop by and visit with my Frida this coming Saturday at Picture This Gallery and Framing in Long Beach! Click here for more information!
I wanted to post some judging pics this past Thursday as a #tbt post...but it didn't happen. I can honestly say that judging cheerleading competitions has been one of the best experiences. It has allowed me to travel, to meet AMAZING people, to stay connected with the sport I love so much...and not to mention they actually pay me to do it? (Seriously, too good to be true)
I started judging back when I lived in Raleigh, North Carolina. At the time I was coaching at Leesville Road High School and I somehow connected to my cheer idol (OMG I love her!)- Cathy Buckey. I ended up working for her summer camps again, in the office, and directly with her her Champion competitions. Without Cathy, I would not have gotten my start in judging, and I thank her for that. I had the chance to work her local events, then even travel to VA and OH to judge. Awesome. Based on my experience working for Cathy I was able to branch out and judge for other companies, like UCA.
Fast forward, two crazy gypsy souls (yep, myself and Johnny Nice) move cross country to San Diego, CA. I had caught the judging bug- so I immediately contacted some of the national company contacts on the West Coast...I ended up judging regional and national events for COA, UCA, GSSA and Cheersport...my travels would take me up and down California and even out to Vegas. I got a chance to see a little bit of the West Coast...all in the name of cheer.
And now here I am in Florida. And again, judging cheerleading has been a way to stay connected with the cheer world, and my 'cheer family' I have made throughout the years on the east and west coasts. Here are just a few photos from the past few years...for some reason I can't really find many from my time in CA or when I first started in NC, I think I didn't take as many photos because I wasn't taking them with my phone, which I always have with me now. I wish I had taken more pics back then!
So, the reason I started this post with judging is because it is through judging that I have had to pleasure of watching routines in the 'Special Needs Division'. Years ago, when I watched I would try to be cool and casually wipe away the tears that always gathered in my eyes....but I am over that. I go full ugly-cry now and I really don't care who sees. Watching these athletes, often time with their non-disabled peers, performing and having the support of the ENTIRE audience...it makes my heart swell with love. It makes me so proud to be a part of this jumping, dancing, tumbling, stunting, loud, sparkly cheer world.
The year was 2000. I was in undergrad at East Carolina, deep in the throes of my textile and art education program. I wasn't cheering, or coaching.
But when 'Bring it On' came out- I was psyched.
And I watched it. Many, many times.
Sure, it was super cheesy...but it showed CHEERLEADING. Not only that, but they were really tumbling and stunting...performing actual cheer routines.
To pay tribute to this movie, beloved by many cheerleaders (old and young!) I created this piece to represent the two main characters, from different worlds but united by their love for the sport.
...just a gal trying to get this art out of my soul to share with the world on a DAILY basis...no big deal...check out my ramblings!-JLG