Cheerleader of the Month: Chandler Smith
For Chandler Smith, it’s more than just cheerleading; it’s a way of life. It’s where she met some of her best friends and made some of her favorite memories. It’s helped her develop important life skills like hard work, perseverance and commitment, which have enabled her to excel both on and off the mat. “I have been cheering ever since I can remember,” said Chandler. “I can’t imagine my life without it!” Luckily, she doesn’t have to.
Chandler started cheering as a PeeWee cheerleader for little league football in second grade. As a young girl, she loved watching the cheerleaders at games, so it was an easy decision to join her friends on the squad. The more games she cheered, the more she fell in love with it. In fifth grade, Chandler made the jump to competitive cheer, and she hasn’t looked back since. She started at Spirit Xtreme in Southlake, Texas, where she competed for five years. Two years ago, she joined Spirit of Texas in Arlington. She currently cheers on the Senior Level 4 team. “My teammates at Spirit of Texas are from all over the Dallas-Fort Worth area,” said Chandler. “I have developed lifelong friendships with girls I would not have met otherwise. We love traveling together for competitions and socializing outside of the gym. It’s like having a second family.”
Some of Chandler’s favorite memories have come from cheering at Spirit of Texas. She credits much of her strong work ethic to her experiences as an all star cheerleader. “My favorite competition was The Summit,” said Chandler. “Practices in the weeks leading up to The Summit were grueling, all while trying to focus on school and everything else going on in our busy lives. We worked so hard as a team. We really came together to focus on our goals. Traveling and enjoying that time together was an incredible bonding experience.”
In addition to all star cheerleading, Chandler has been cheering for her school team since middle school. She has been nominated as an NCA All-American four times and has been chosen as an NCA All-American Team Member for the past three years. She is currently a junior and varsity cheerleader at Southlake Carroll Senior High School and is loving every second of it. “My favorite part of cheering at Southlake Carroll is getting to cheer the boys on at the football games,” she said. “There’s really nothing like cheering under the Friday night lights!”
And what cheerleader wouldn’t love to cheer on such a prestigious high school football program? The Southlake Carroll football team is consistently one of the top-ranked teams in the state of Texas. Dragon Stadium, where they play their home games, holds up to 12,000 fans—a truly electric game day experience that every school cheerleader craves!
Cheering for your school AND on an all star team would keep any cheerleader plenty busy, but this year Chandler added something new to her cheerleading resume. In September, Varsity All Star Fashion announced a casting call for current all star cheerleaders to feature in their upcoming design book. Over 600 applied, but only a few were selected as Varsity All Star Fashionistas. Chandler traveled to Dallas to participate in the photo shoot, and throughout the year she gets to update followers on the Varsity Fashionistas’ Twitter & Instagram pages! (You can follow updates from Chandler & all of the Varsity All Star Fashionistas @VASFashionistas.) “It was so much fun hanging out with everyone during the photo shoot and getting to represent Spirit of Texas,” said Chandler. “And I think it is so cool that I get to update everyone about Varsity through social media!”
On top of all of her time devoted to cheerleading, Chandler is involved in several activities outside of cheer. She has served as a Student Council representative since fifth grade, including serving as Student Council Secretary her sophomore year. She also works with HOPE, a group at her school that supports special needs students. Outside of school, she volunteers for the Special Olympics as a Life Skills Teacher’s Aide and also for Relay For Life.
Having so much on her plate is certainly time-consuming and can be overwhelming at times, but is also rewarding. Thankfully, Chandler doesn’t have to look far from home for her inspiration. “My role model is my mom and working women everywhere,” said Chandler. “They are busy caring for their families and volunteering with outside organizations, keeping things together like booster clubs and parent-teacher organizations. My mom has a dozen things pulling at her at any given moment, but that doesn’t stop her from reminding me how much she loves and supports me. She is truly my number one cheerleader. One day I want to be just like her.”
The future is looking bright for Chandler Smith, who plans on continuing her cheerleading career & school involvement. She has set her sights high for 2014 and is excited about the year ahead. “My goal is to always be the best person and cheerleader I can be,” she said. “In cheerleading I aspire to win an NCA title, earn another Summit bid and win at The Summit. Outside of cheer, it’s important to me that I maintain high grades and stay active in my school and community.”