Morehouse Parish girls wanting to learn the art of cheer, or brush up on their dance moves, have an opportunity to attend a cheer clinic this month free of charge.
The Eastern Morehouse All-Stars Cheer Clinic will be holding their third annual clinic this month with sign-ups today from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Bastrop High gym. The clinic will be held from 9a.m. till noon on Mondays and Tuesday July 9-17 in the Bastrop High gym for ages 4-11.
Co-coordinator Pamela Benton said the clinic will not only be an outlet for girls to learn how to cheer, it will also “promote physical fitness.”
“There’s a large number of girls with obesity today,” she said. “We’re trying to get the girls to become more active.”
Benton said one of the primary reasons for holding the clinic is to teach the girls how to tumble.
“Most of the cheerleaders at the high school can’t do gymnastics such as back flips, front flips and hand springs,” she said. “If we start them out young, they won’t be afraid when they get older.”
Benton said cheering has equipped BHS senior Kayla Hawkins to become a three-time All American Cheerleader for the National Cheerleading Association.
“She scored the highest she could score without being able to tumble,” she said. “She’ll be in the Macy’s Day Parade this year and cheer at one of the bowl games.”
Benton knows first hand how cheerleading can give you the opportunity to visit places you might not otherwise get the chance to go.
“I was the first All American Cheerleader at Bastrop High School in 1983,” she said. “I went to Hawaii that year and cheered in the Cotton Bowl.”
The cheerleading clinic will be taught by Erin Wooten, owner of NELA Gymnastics and Cheer.
“She worked with our Delta Jr. High cheerleaders, ages two through five, during the school year last year,” she said. “She’ll be volunteering her time to teach the clinic this summer.”
Benton said during the clinic, a nutritionist will be speaking to the girls about eating healthier.
“With obesity being such a big problem today, the nutritionist is going to talk to them about food choices,” she said. “Instead of eating chips when you get hungry, try to eat something better for you.”
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Benton said the EMASCC would not be possible if not for the help of sponsors.
“Some of the proceeds from the Morehouse Black Rodeo are funding the clinic,” she said. “We also have several community sponsors. Some are businesses and some are individuals.”
Benton said the cheerleading clinic will be a positive influence for girls for many reasons.
“I believe all girls should be able to follow their dreams no matter what shape or size they are,” she said. “We should embrace our girls and teach them to be their best academically, emotionally and athletically.”