There’s so much to LOVE about this dynamic duo and their entire cheer family. We sat down with Debbie and Whitney Love to learn what it’s like to grow up and raise a family in the exciting world of all star cheerleading.
Debbie Love started her cheerleading career over 50 years ago in 1967. Born in Kentucky, Debbie first took to cheerleading in her back yard with her father. After learning a cartwheel and front walkover, she was hooked. In the 1980’s, Debbie started with the Blue Grass Tigers in Lexington. Times were very different and methods were crude but Debbie defied the odds by learning a full with ropes and the help of friends. From there, the sport evolved and so did Debbie’s expertise.
During her days as a student at Memphis State University, Debbie cheered, did gymnastics and ran track before graduating with a bachelor’s degree in math and a minor in English language and psychology. Afterward, she chose a career in technology, working as a systems analyst for four years. Though she enjoyed her time in tech, Debbie eventually returned to her passion for coaching gymnastics and cheer.
It wasn’t long before Debbie met her husband, Marcus, and they began to create what is now known as the Love Dynasty – every member of the family, including all six children, have been involved in cheer, gymnastics or dance.
Whitney Love, the second youngest, blazed a trail of her own in the cheerleading industry. She’s now world renowned for her incredible tumbling skills. “My older brother cheered at Kentucky Elite All Stars while he was in high school. He ended up bringing my younger sister (Britni Love) and me to practice with him. We LOVED it!!” Whitney said. “Shortly after watching that practice we joined our first team.”
Debbie enjoys incorporating her family into her cheerleading career and feels comforted and encouraged to be surrounded by her loved ones. This crew has a close bond and cheerleading has helped to lay the foundation for an incredible family relationship.
Debbie coached Whitney and each of her other five children throughout the years, homeschooling them through high school graduation. “She’s coached me throughout my entire life and her constant love and support is unlike any coach I’ve ever experienced. She and I are very similar so she knows how I learn best and what motivates me, but it hasn’t always been easy for us.” Whitney said. “Both she and I have learned a lot about each other and ourselves through the obstacles we’ve faced together. The mother daughter bond we share is unique and it’s one I would never change.”
Debbie took coaching each of her children as a unique challenge. She learned what made them tick athletically and academically. “My children have made me more patient, persevering, loyal, compassionate and more of a person of integrity because of my concern for being a role model,” said Debbie.
This dynamic duo has been taking the all star cheerleading industry by storm for the past decade and credit each other with keeping cheerleading in the family. Whitney started her all star career with Kentucky Elite All Stars and finished at Twist & Shout in Edmond, OK. Her most memorable moment includes her last time competing at The Cheerleading Worlds with Twist & Shout – Obsession. The performance gave her that ‘once in a lifetime’ feeling, but the placements did not work out in their favor. “That moment had a direct influence on the way I view true success. It wasn’t about winning or losing, what mattered is whether we had fun giving 100% of our effort.”
Debbie and Whitney look forward to continuing in the cheerleading industry for many years. They are both focused on running clinics, leadership training and advocating for the future of the sport across the world. When asked their one piece of advice on joining all star cheerleading? “DO IT! Step out onto the mat with the intentions to be the best you can be and you are sure to be successful both on and off the floor.”
Want some fun facts on the Loves? Next page!