For Brandeisians who frequent basketball games, the Cheerleading Club is hard to miss.
President Caleb Dafilou ’17 described the group as a “small, co-ed team that attends both on-campus varsity basketball games and annual competitions.” In fact the club’s non-discrimination clause prevents any form of discrimination, including gender discrimination. Since 2014, the club has had a male athlete on the roster.
In addition to traveling with the basketball teams, the cheerleaders engage in other activities, like competing in cheerleading competitions and charity work. Some of this charity work, Dafilou noted, includes “raising money for cancer research” and outreach to local youth.
While the team previously has entered one competition a year, Dafilou hopes that this year the team will participate in three or four. “We could not be more excited!” Dafilou said.
One initiative that may better facilitate an increase in competition is greater “connection between other schools,” according to Dafilou. Not only will this help with networking for the team, but it can also be an opportunity for the Brandeis club to improve its overall quality. In the past, issues such as poor coaching and a low membership base have hindered the club’s performance.
Now, however, the team has nearly 30 members and new coaches. Jordyn Seri ’17, co-president, also notes that “the most important thing we work on is team bonding and trust between team members.”
Interestingly enough, the team members of the Brandeis Cheerleading Club hold a diverse variety of experience with cheerleading. While some have been cheerleading since high school, there are members who have joined with little to no experience. As a matter of fact, Caleb had his start in gymnastics and only started cheerleading upon coming to Brandeis.
For many of the members, the cheerleading squad is more than just a team. For Reena Corvil ’17, co-president of the team, among its more redeeming aspects is the fact that team members “look out for each other,” ensuring a strong community.
Seri added that the team is the perfect choice for any students, regardless of experience, looking for a “fun club that will also kick your butt if you do the work for it.”