With the first year of two cheer tryouts happening on May and October, the Bellevue Bulldogs Cheer Squad prepares for a year full of special events, community services and school events. “This is the first year we will have two tryouts, one in May and one in October. By having a partial squad when we start the new school year we will be able to help welcome new students to campus,” said advisor Barbara Brodsky. With another tryout in October they are hoping more underclassmen will try out for the team. “By having another tryout in October we will have our full squad and it will give freshmen an opportunity to try out. We usually have 14 members on the squad.”
With no real coach to train them and teach them new tricks, it’s all up to the captains on the team to keep the ideas flowing and make sure everything is organized. “Our cheer squad has two captains who run all practices, choreograph and teach routines, and lead all activities during games,” said Barbara. It’s all up to the captains to figure out what is going on and what cheer they want to do next. “I don’t ‘call the plays’, they do.”
With no real coach, Brodsky is there to help keep everything in order, almost as if she was mediator of the team. “The women who are the captains are experienced cheerleaders, and they know what needs to be done to lead their team. As their advisor I offer support, guidance, and assistance as needed,” explained Brodsky.
Cheer is a very hard sport and it takes athletic ability to do what this team does. Brodsky explains how she feels when people say that cheerleading isn’t a sport. “It depends on the type of cheer squad. Many are sport-like and many are not. In high school cheerleaders tend to be in better physical shape than all of the other athletes. It is a year-round sport with extensive conditioning, practices and competitions. I don’t think ESPN would be televising National Cheer Competitions if it wasn’t a sport.”
For incoming freshman, the team isn’t like the big drama fest that high school cheerleading is. “That is what makes cheer at Bellevue College so much fun; there isn’t any drama! Cheer at BC is a great activity, something designed to make college life more enjoyable while doing something that connects you with others at BC,” said Brodsky.
It’s a great way to meet people and take the stress off the college life. It’s there to connect people to other people and just enjoy what you’re doing. “When you go to college on a commuter campus/community college, most students come to class and leave right after. That makes it very difficult to get to know other students and to feel a part of the college.” With the cheer team you will feel connected with not only the school but with the people cheering around you.
When the season starts to pick up, cheerleading becomes a full time, committed sport. “The cheer squad practices twice a week, usually Tuesday and Thursday 7:00 a.m. – 8:15 a.m. They cheer at all women’s and men’s basketball games, both at home and away,” said Brodsky. But that’s not all; they do even more. “They will do performances at each halftime during home games. They also go to the NWACC basketball championships to cheer on the winning Bulldog teams. During [the] basketball season we cheer two days a week, two games each night.” With that being said, spread the word for tryouts happening in October for upcoming freshman.