She’s been dancing her whole life but this was the first time Toronto Argonauts cheerleader hopeful, Alexandra M., had to do so on a competitive level.
“I actually never did competitions,” she said while waiting for the cheer team roster to be chosen.
Taking the stage at Cardinal Carter Academy of the Arts on March 20, the 22-year-old performed for judges Rudy Blair of 680 News, photographer Craig Boyko and cheerleading head coach Jorie Brown.
The Yonge Street and St. Clair Avenue native was vying for one of 33 spots on the 2010 squad.
Though she was in tough against 64 other finalists, she was far from nervous.
Most of her prep time, four hours worth spread over two weeks, was all about her routine and staying in a Zen frame of mind.
“For me it was more about calming myself down,” she said. “It wasn’t necessarily about remembering the routine it was more about centering myself.”
Alexandra decided to audition mostly for the chance to work with the littlest fans off the field.
“I love working with kids,” she said. “My lifelong goal is to inspire kids so I think it’s really cool to be in this position, you get to inspire so many people.”
Fellow participant Lauren L. agreed.
“I’m going to be extremely excited if my name gets called and I am definitely looking forward to the games, the promotions that we do as well, and the charity work,” she said. “It feels good to give back to the community and through the Argos it’s a great way to be a part of that.”
Argos new head coach Jim Barker made a special appearance to chat with the ladies, commending them for their on-field athletics.
“If they’re prepared they can go out and they’ll stay focused just like our players,” he told the audience, his focus on the ladies. “We have some phenomenal athletes do their thing on the field and then in between we have these phenomenal athletes.”
During the Blue Rose Ceremony, Lauren made the cut, but Alexandra did not.
Still, the atmosphere was not one of defeat for the soon-to-be children’s studies scholar.
“For me being a new audition I find it incredibly friendly,” Alexandra said. “All the girls are very approachable. I know it is a competition, but the vibe is not competitive.”
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