Cheerleader, Party of One

It’s your first year cheering. You’re in eighth grade. You’re on a small team of four cheerleaders. You have a performance in front of the student body coming up. Your only three teammates quit hours before your performance. Do you go on?

Tianiya Hall-Scales did. The eighth grader at Nims Middle School in Tallahassee, Florida made a commitment to the school and student body, and she didn’t let anything stop her from fulfilling that promise. In an interview with the Tallahassee Democrat, Tianiya said that she already told people she was cheering. “I wasn’t going to stop because nobody else wanted to show up,” she said.

Her confidence beamed as she performed for her school. When she was finished, she showed her coach her shaky hands – the only sign of her being nervous, according to the Tallahassee Democrat.

Tianiya’s dedication and passion did not go unnoticed. Classmates, some she didn’t even know, showered her with compliments afterward. The love and support she received from the community was unrivaled. As cheerleaders, we are held to a different standard. We have higher expectations. We are expected to be ambassadors to our schools, and Tianiya is a great representation of that. Even when the game is tough, we continue cheering. When our teammates want to give up, we keep going.

This is the sort of confidence and commitment that is learned though being a cheerleader. Not only does the team count on cheerleaders to hype up the crowd to help win the game, but the students, parents and faculty also count on cheerleaders to make the game environment fun and exciting. This is the confidence that Tianiya embodies. This is the sort of love and passion that teachers and administrators want their students to latch on to.

So the next time something is difficult and it feels like quitting is your only option, think of Tianiya. Will you be the teammate who backs away, or will you be the teammate who lets that fuel your fire? When the going gets tough, the tough get going – so be like Tianiya, and get going!

photo c/o Tallahassee Democrat/Brian Miller