Do you have a budding cheerleader in the family?
The Junior Colts Cheerleader Program offers children ages 6 to 14 the chance to learn the basics of cheerleading, dance and performing, right from the experts themselves: the Indianapolis Colts cheerleaders.
During the seven-month-long program, kids spend one day per month learning the basics of the sport, and then have the opportunity to perform at select Indianapolis Colts home games at Lucas Oil Stadium during the 2019 season.
“We definitely want to create an experience that both kids and parents can’t get anywhere else,” says Erin Smith, youth cheer coordinator for the Indianapolis Colts. “The dancing and game performances are so unique and special, and we really try to emphasize other aspects to make this different than taking a dance class at your local dance studio.”
Younger siblings can get into the spirit, too. New for 2019, children ages 3 to 5 can participate in the Preschool Cheerleading Program, which is tailored to the younger cheer crowd.
“The Preschool Cheerleading Program is designed to help prepare kids for the Junior Colts Cheerleader Program,” Smith says. “They will focus more on dance and cheer basics at their clinics. Instead of three home game performances, they will have one and will work on this routine for the season. This is a perfect program for those who are interested in getting their child involved in dance or cheer but who also want the experience of helping out in the community and learning the aspects of being a Colts cheerleader and junior cheerleader.”
Both cheer programs are about more than dancing and performing. The programs also emphasize getting involved in the community and developing life skills off the field.
“We focus on getting our participants involved in their community as much as possible,” Smith says. “We offer community service appearances as a group, but we also encourage participants to do things on their own. We place a big focus on personal development and practical life skills, and promoting a healthy lifestyle.”
In the past, junior cheerleaders have participated in community events such as performing at Indianapolis Indians games, appearing in the IPL 500 Festival Parade and baking cookies at the Ronald McDonald house in Indianapolis. And this year, there will be even more opportunities for community service.
“This season, we plan on putting a major emphasis on doing even more things to help our community,” Smith says. “The participants always come back and say their favorite ‘appearance’ was one where they were able to help someone.”
Learn more about the Junior Colts Cheerleader Program and the Preschool Cheerleading Program at www.colts.com/cheerleaders/juniorcheer