More often now then ever, I find myself reminiscing about the past with a big smile on my face. As I’ve shared before, I pursued my passions and received a dual degree in dance and business. Though I studied an array of dance styles, I practiced classical ballet for 15 years, which not only kept me extremely active but also taught me the importance of hard work and discipline.
In the midst of my dance training, a few peers and I were approached to audition for the Montreal Alouettes cheerleading squad. The football team was established in 1946, peaked in the 1970’s, collapsed in 1987, and returned in 1996-which was around the time I was scouted. I prepared for the audition and at 18 years young, I was fortunate enough to become a cheerleader for the Alouettes!
I remember at the time, I convinced my friend Suyin to attend the try-outs and she too was selected. We grew so much closer through this and she not only fell in love with the sport, but also with my brother! They have been happily together for seven years and I couldn’t ask for a better dance partner and sister-in-law.
Cheerleading for the Alouettes turned out to be some of the best years of my life! Along with 28 girls who became very dear to me, we jumped and cheered on and off the field, exploring this whole new world together!
It’s impossible for me to share this experience without mentioning Annie Larouche, director of Foundation and Cheerleading team for the Montreal Alouettes. Her vibrant energy, charismatic personality, and dedication to the cheerleading team were a big part of what made working for the organization so fantastic.
When I recently received a phone call from Annie, I was thrilled to be informed that the team was celebrating their 20th anniversary and over 50 former Alouettes cheerleaders were invited to perform on the field during the half-time show on July 3rd, 2015!
I underestimated how much of a challenge this would be, forgetting the countless hours of practice and training we once endured. Out of 12 choreographies, I only remembered 2 and was having some difficulty retaining the routines this time around! (#nospringchicken lol)
After all the rehearsals, it was time to hit the field for the half-time performance and I was flooded with emotions from excitement and nerves to pride and nostalgia. So many memories came rushing to me as we performed in the spotlight, at which point I felt 18 again!
I am both grateful and thankful for this amazing experience of being reunited with old friends and with my dancing roots! I’m hoping that if I continue leading a healthy and active lifestyle that I’ll get a similar call in 5-10 years from now to get to chance to relive my youth once more!