Leading by Example: The DOMHS Cheerleaders at the Health Fair

By Melissa Menjivar

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This year’s health fair was a true success. A multitude of students, parents, and staff attended the fair and even donated blood. In addition to attending the health fair, many people did their part educating others by volunteering at booths and making delicious, but most importantly healthy, food. One of the highlights of the health fair was the DOMHS cheerleaders’ performance.

I had the chance to sit down with some of the cheerleaders and ask them why they thought it was important to perform at the health fair. Jennifer Castillo, Madellyn Dominguez, Gisselle Sanchez, Priscilla Vargas, Johanna Vaquerano, and Ashlie Vega (all of them juniors), also shared the ups and downs of cheerleading with me.

Why did you decide to become a cheerleader?

Jennifer: I decided to become a cheerleader because one of my friends suggested that I should try out a girly sport for once, instead of soccer. And that friend was Ashlie.

Madellyn: I decided to become a cheerleader because I participated in almost every sport the school offered, and cheerleading was the only sport I hadn’t tried that would let me continue an active lifestyle.

Gisselle: I’ve always wanted to wear the cute outfits and I enjoy being the center of attention. I was hoping that by joining cheer my self-esteem would improve.

Priscilla: I decided to become a cheerleader because it’s always been my dream to be one. I’ve always wanted to be the cheerleader that dated the jock. The Bring It On films also inspired me to become one because of the competitions in the movies. Competing and being the best has always been something I’ve enjoyed doing.

Johanna: To be frank, I was influenced by the media. I’ve seen movies with cheerleaders and I liked how they were well coordinated. I also liked the way the cheerleaders  in the movies looked in their uniforms, I thought they looked cute, and I wanted to look cute in a uniform. Also, I needed to join a sport because I’m fat.

Ashlie: Well, I wanted to do softball first but then I heard that the school was offering cheer and I thought, “Hey, might as well do something cute and girly!” I wanted to have a cute uniform, learn how to do splits, and how to flip in the air and I said, “Hey, let’s join!”

What do you enjoy the most about cheerleading?

Jennifer: What I enjoy most about being a cheerleader is that I get to experience competitions and I get to see different performances by different people. Also, one of the best parts of cheerleading is the dancing because I love dancing.

Madellyn: I enjoy the opportunity to participate in competitions as well as performing in front of others in the school because the team gets show the students what its capable of.

 Gisselle: I like the cheerworld, I like competing against people, and I like the attention I get.

 Priscilla: Looking cute.

 Johanna: I enjoy competing in the competitions and love being in the cheer world. I enjoy the cheer world because it feels like the place where all elite cheerleaders get together and compete against each other. I also like it because I love being a part of a team and cheerleading gives me that opportunity.

Ashlie: Having new routines, looking cute in my uniform, going to competitions, competing with other people and seeing other dances. Being able to show off is cool too because I look cute in my uniform and I just say, “Look at me, look at me!”

What is the most difficult thing about cheerleading?

Jennifer: The most difficult thing about cheerleading is the commitment, due to the fact that it takes up most of my time.  Sometimes it can be stressful because I have homework for other classes and cheerleading is time consuming, so I have to balance out my academic and personal life to make room for both.

Madellyn: Commitment is the most difficult thing because cheerleading consists of a lot of dedication and hard work, and it is difficult for me to keep up with it because I have other extra curricular activities that I attend.

 Gisselle: Having low self-esteem because I can’t do much without thinking what other people are going to say or think about my performance.

 Priscilla: Having to work hard and keeping up with routines is the hardest thing because there’s a lot of pressure on the team.

 Johanna: Keeping your uniform clean.

 Ashlie: I think that not being able to perform a certain move is frustrating because it slows the team down. Also, when we practice for so long and so much, I don’t like it when the team doesn’t work as one because then we get pulled out of competitions.

Do you think it was important for the cheerleading team to perform at the health fair, if so why?

Jennifer: Honestly, I think it was important to perform in the health fair because it shows other people that there are different types of ways of exercising and you don’t need to commit to just traditional exercising and you can have fun exercising through dancing.

Madellyn: I think that it was important for the cheerleaders to perform because we were able to support the health fair and show that we are active, which I important to the health.

 Gisselle: It was important for us to prove to the school that we’ve worked hard but it doesn’t help to know that our fellow peers don’t support us.

 Priscilla: Yes, I think it was important for us because we needed to show that we have improved as a team overtime. We wanted to show other people that practice and dedication leads to a better performance.

 Johanna: Yes, because cheerleading is one of the sports offered at the school and its important to show people that exercise can be done in many ways. One of those ways can be by cheering, which involves dancing.

Ashlie: Yes, because students always make fun of us and they have never witnessed or experienced a real completion, and performing well at the fair proves that we have actually worked hard to pull off an awesome performance.

And the most important question of all: Who’s your favorite superhero?

Jennifer: My favorite superhero is Batman because Batman is amazing. I like what he does, and I like his color scheme.

Madellyn: Green Lantern because Ryan Reynolds is hot.

 Gisselle: Superwoman because she’s hot and gorgeous and I would like to be like her.

Priscilla: The Powerpuff Girls, because they work together to help other people. And they look cute.

Johanna: Dick Grayson, also known as Nightwing, is my favorite hero because when I was young, the first hero movie I saw was Batman and Robin and from then I fell in love with the character of Dick Grayson. My love progressed for him and I became more interested in learning about his characteristics and what made him unique.

Ashlie: Daryl from The Walking Dead because he’s cute, he has several personalities, he takes care of people because he has a big heart, he’s sexy, he’s a rebel, he’s good with a crossbow, and he’s just over all amazing. He’s freaking amazing.

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