Cheer team looks to add new members

Briana Cook, Alex Reidl, and Sydney Zalewski lift Connie Chan into an elevator, a common cheer stunt. (credit: Thomas Hofman/Photo Editor) Briana Cook, Alex Reidl, and Sydney Zalewski lift Connie Chan into an elevator, a common cheer stunt. (credit: Thomas Hofman/Photo Editor)

At many Tartan varsity sports events, your Tartan pride will be led by the Carnegie Mellon cheer squad. The cheer team currently consists of four members: senior Alexandra Riedl, senior Briana Cook, fourth year architecture major Sydney Zalewski, and sophomore Connie Chan.

The cheer team is looking for more members, both women and men, in hopes of increasing the size of the squad and the spirit of the fans at games. “Cheerleading is a great way to represent Carnegie Mellon and get the crowd involved,” said Zalewski.

The Tartan met with the cheer team as they prepare to host an information meeting to increase the size of the squad. Cook has been cheerleading since she was ten years old and throughout her time at Carnegie Mellon. Fellow senior Riedl started cheerleading in college; having had previous dance experience, she wanted to find a new way to explore her talents. The cheer squad was something she always wanted to try, so she looked up tryouts and went. Zalewski began cheering in the eighth grade, but it was only last year that she started cheerleading in college. Chan began cheering in high school and came to college looking to continue pursuing her passion.

All four members are dedicated to the cheer team and have found their experiences on the team very rewarding. “I couldn’t imagine my life without cheerleading,” said Chan. “The most rewarding part of being on the team is practicing a lot and landing the stunts that we have been working on for a long time,” Chan continued. Cook had a similar reaction to the cheer team. “For me, it is all about the hard work, progress and mastering new skills that I haven’t learned before,” said Cook. “I didn’t do stunts or tumble in high school, but now I do so there is always more to learn.”

“Cheerleading is a lot more than what is on the surface, so many things translate back to cheerleading,” said Cook.
The cheer team practices on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. and they cheer at home football and basketball games.

The cheer team is hosting an information session on Monday Nov. 14 at 6:30 p.m. in the Danforth lounge. The members of the team and the cheer team’s new head coach Emerald Huggins will be present to answer questions. “Our coach believes in us a lot and pushes us to be the best that we can be,” said Zalewski.

No cheerleading experience is needed to join. The team is very welcoming to new men and women who are interested in learning more about cheerleading.

Connie Chan is a member of The Tartan’s copy staff.