By Jalisa Bannerman
Sound Mind Sound Body (SMSB) hosted its first Cheer Showcase & Media Day Sunday, September 4th, at Southfield A&T High School. With enormous hearts, projecting voices, and even bigger dreams, squads were rocking the stands and embodying the pride of their organization.
Before the stands flooded with spectators, teams cheerfully chanted, swayed, and posed for pictures. With coordinators and cheer coaches close by, the day was steered by some of the best volunteers whose passion for elevating the bar of our inner-city cheerleaders is unmatched.
The day commenced and concluded in high spirits as separate teams hit the field and rushed back to watch other performers. No matter the color in uniform, the atmosphere was bursting with enthusiastic cheerleaders – even through the breeze and sprinkle of the day.
Before performances, All-American Brooke Edwards of the Panthers 12u was full of anticipation to watch and perform. “We have worked hard, and I look forward to seeing what everyone came up with.” When asked who inspires her, she mentioned her cheer sisterhood because of their enthusiasm and ability to work together. Already sure of her bright future, she is establishing plans to attend Cass Tech in the future, hopefully, and later Howard University or Clark Atlanta to pursue sports management.
Alayah Jones of the West Side Cubs 8u team introduced herself using a voice drill style to spell her name. With so much personality, she shared her refusal to quit and her readiness to display all her cheerful faces. “I want to be a nice police officer or a cheer coach,” said the small but mighty All-American. Alayah is aware of the importance of commitments at a young age and admitted to motivating herself to push through.
All-American Daisha Stone of the West Side Steelers 14u team has been cheering since 2018. She defined a cheerleader as “a motivated and confident person because it takes a lot of hard work and dedication.” She attributed her strong confidence to Coach Kay and Coach Tiera of her team, who have helped her become comfortable around others. When asked about her future, Daisha responded, “I want to go to Harvard and become a teacher or a surgeon.”
With so much willpower in each cheerleader, SMSB is eager to further its mission to increase the number of student-athletes graduating high school and earning college scholarships in the Metro Detroit Community. SMSB has developed a unique curriculum that combines life skills, athleticism, and academics. With the honor of closing the gap between under-served youth and gender disparities amongst female student-athletes, SMSB has the best formula: STUDENT + ATHLETE + SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY + SOUND DECISION MAKING = SUCCESS.