To be a cheerleader, you have to be pretty well-rounded. Upbeat, athletic, disciplined and outgoing—these are typical qualities attributed to the average American cheerleader. But the AC Cheerleader of the Month celebrates girls who are cheerleaders in life as well!
This month we’re focusing our spotlight on Caitlin Tindell—varsity cheerleader and junior honor student at West Monroe High School in Monroe, LA—who applies the positive attitude and dedication necessary to be a cheerleader to everything she does in life!
When she’s not cheering, Caitlin, who describes herself as a little bit on the shy side, spends most of her free time doing schoolwork. She hopes that her hard work will land her a spot at Louisiana State University, where she’d like to continue cheering and major in biology in order to pursue her dream of going to medical school. But her list of accomplishments doesn’t end there. Caitlin is also a talented singer who is a member of her school choir and is heading to New York City this year to sing at one of the city’s landmarks, Carnegie Hall. With a growing list of achievements, it’s easy to see why we think this beautiful, brainy young woman is anything but average!
AC: How long have you been cheerleading, and when did you realize that it was something that you loved?
Caitlin: I started cheering when I was in first grade. My mom was a cheerleader so I’ve always loved it!
AC: What do you think is a cheerleader’s most important role?
Caitlin: To be a leader. Our squad doesn’t have captains so we just all help each other. We make sure that it is constructive criticism and not to come off as being bossy!
AC: Tell us a little bit about the specific role you play on your squad. Are you a dancer, top, base, tumbler? What goals do you hope to accomplish in cheering this year?
Caitlin: I’m a top. Next year, I really want to try out for LSU so I want to get my coed stunts down pretty well and I want to get my full solid so I can try out. I really want to be a college cheerleader.
AC: What is your favorite part of cheerleading? Is it cheering at the games, the competitions, bonding with your teammates, or something else?
Caitlin: Probably stunting, and I love it. I like cheering at football games but competing is fun, too. It’s fun to see what other squads are like.
AC: If you weren’t cheering, what would you be doing with your free time?
Caitlin: I would definitely be in the student section with my friends at football games. At times, I miss not being able to do that but it’s really fun to cheer in front of them. We have big student sections that are really fun!
AC: Cheering requires a big-time commitment. How do you balance school, cheer and free time?
Caitlin: In my free time at school, I try to do my homework because once I get home, I’m not going to have time. I know that if I drop my grades, I won’t be able to cheer and do all the other things that I love to do.
AC: What do you feel is your biggest accomplishment to date? Any big goals for your future?
Caitlin: Besides being a college cheerleader, I want to major in pre-med and be an emergency room physician.
AC: Do you feel nervous before competitions, tryouts or a big pep rally? What do you do to calm your nerves?
Caitlin: This year, I wasn’t nervous at all. I usually get really nervous before tryouts but I just had fun with it because it was my senior year. Before I compete, sometimes I get a little bit nervous, but it’s not bad once I get on the mat. I just say a prayer and I get through it.
AC: What do you think is the hardest thing about being a cheerleader?
Caitlin: When you get frustrated that something doesn’t happen (like you drop a stunt) or people have bad attitudes, you just have to stay positive. It’s hard to work through that when there’s a lot of negativity.
A few more things about Caitlin…
• I’m a Hello Kitty fanatic.
• I’m on the cover of the Varsity fashion catalog!
• I dress a little sassy.
• I’m addicted to taking baths!
• I love to fish.
• My celebrity crush is Liam Hemsworth.
• I hate peanut butter! The smell, the texture . . . ugh! I hate it.