The Leader Of Pirates Cheer
By: Oliver Nissi
October 5, 2020
WORCESTER, MA. — Pirates Nation will not only see a new head football coach next season, they will see a new cheerleading coach as well. Christie McPherson was named the team’s Head Cheer Coach back in July and brings nearly twenty years of cheerleading and dance experience to the Pirates.
A Texas native, McPherson moved to Massachusetts two years ago to be an instructor at the college level. She has formerly coached high school dance and has traveled across the nation as a certified competition judge for dance studios and drill teams. Being a judge has allowed her to gain extra insight on various types of dance styles. “Different parts of the country have different styles.” McPherson told masspiratesfootball.com. “And familiarizing myself with these techniques has allowed myself to learn and grow.”
McPherson recently held tryouts for the 2021 season in a rather unorthodox style, through video submissions due to COVID-19. Out of 58 women that attended tryouts, 16 were selected to be a part of the Pirates Cheer Team. For McPherson, she was able to find benefits from the event. “There were dancers from all across New England and up and down the east coast, which was great because we were able to tap into more talent than perhaps a normal case would present.”
When it came to selecting the roster, McPherson was very keen on what she was looking for. First and foremost, she wanted her cheerleaders to have an engaging personality and to be a positive performer and person. Second, she examined how well the audition was from a technical standpoint. The dancer had to convey strong fundamentals and consistency and prove to be a well-rounded performer. Lastly, McPherson wanted to be around self-motivated dancers like herself, someone who can find motivation from within.
The entirety of the team is made up of hardworking women, who work multiple and full-time jobs. Some of the dancers are full-time in college, too. McPherson told masspiratesfootball.com how proud she has become of her team. “All 16 cheerleaders had to work hard for these positions. I’m very proud and impressed with the level of professionalism and the strong communication skills they all possess.”
When it comes to how the Pirates Cheer Team will be spending their offseason, the idea of ambling will not be the case. The cheerleaders will be doing everything virtually in 2020 and will be training both physically and mentally, with the ladder learning sideline choreography. A key component of this is interview training, where the cheerleaders will be taught to speak eloquently about the players and the team. They will also be educated on how to apply their hair and makeup for game days and PR events, with help from team sponsors’ Salon Rae Cal and Thomas Rothwell Spa (both of Central Massachusetts). McPherson believes this added skill will help increase the professionalism of the group.
McPherson undoubtedly brings a refreshing new culture of cheerleading to the team. Similar to other newcomers, she is eager to grow and learn in her new role. Her background and competitive edge is paralleled to the other leaders in the organization: to just win, in all facets of the game. How Coach McPherson advances this team from that of past seasons will be exciting to see come March.
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