Despite how easy some people may say it looks, collegiate cheerleading is no day at the beach.
Recently, the Belmont cheerleading team’s coach Lindsey Tonkin received a phone call from The Beach Boys’ publicist inviting the squad to perform a song with the classic rock group during their sold-out concert at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center today.
The band typically chooses one local cheerleading squad in each city they perform in to dance to “Be True to Your School.” Belmont was selected over other local universities, high schools and professional teams.
In order to prepare for this rare opportunity, the team was asked to come up with their own routine.
Freshman member Ashe Tiedt, who has a background in dance, was given the honor of choreographing the team’s moves.
Practices were extended from the normal six to 10 hours a week and extra nights were added so that their performance could give off not just good, but the very best vibrations.
“We’re real excited about it,” Tonkin said. “We’re not sure what to expect, but we’re extremely excited and really proud to give Belmont this opportunity. This is really neat for them and for the school.”
Beyond the obvious thrill of performing with an internationally renowned band, Tonkin also expects this event to raise community awareness for the cheerleaders as a team.
“In my 11 years of coaching at Belmont, we’ve never had an opportunity quite like this,” she said. “A lot of times, the only time people will see us is at basketball games. An exciting thing was that WKRN contacted me and wanted the cheerleaders to be on TV Monday morning. It’s great that we can get our name out there.”
The squad is poised to have fun, fun, fun in the performance scheduled for tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Schermerhorn.
– Grayson Hester