10:09 a.m., March 30, 2009----“How many people can say they've actually flown? I have and it's awesome,” said Heather Records, a University of Delaware cheerleader who spends a lot of time airborne while leading cheers for the Blue Hens.
Cheerleading is an avocation for Records, and she loves it. For stadium sitters who marvel at the energy, skill, coordination, presence, acrobatics and enthusiasm of cheerleaders, Records is a performer who combines all these qualities and is receiving attention for her talents on the national scene.
She has been selected by the USA Federation for Sport Cheerleading (USACheer) as a member of its co-ed team to represent the United States at the International Cheer Union's 2009 World Cup at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, April 24.
After competing in tryouts in Louisville, Ky., she was one of the top 60 top cheerleaders in the country chosen to compete against cheerleaders from more than 50 other countries. She will have intense training in Kentucky, learning to work with new partners, before the event.
She also was selected as Cheerleader of the Month in American Cheerleader magazine, the only national magazine for the sport in the country. She was awarded a $1,500 scholarship and spent an exciting day in New York for a photoshoot.
Records and a cheerleader from Delaware State University also were featured on the cover of Delaware Today in its Best of Delaware issue in July.
In addition to cheering for Delaware, Records is a cheerleader for the Philadelphia 76ers-not quite as strenuous as cheerleading for the Blue Hens, she said, but being a part of the organization and meeting new people has been a great experience.
Records said she was a late bloomer as a cheerleader. She did some cheerleading for recreational teams, then moved on to high school cheerleading at Glasgow High School and began to develop her skills tumbling and doing stunts. When she started looking for schools where cheerleading was important and supported, she realized one of the best teams was right in her backyard at UD.
High school cheerleading is very different from college, she said. In high school, it's all girls while in college, there are men cheerleaders and they play an important role. She trusts the men on the team who throw her 30 feet up and catch her as she flips through the air or balance her on one hand over their heads as she leads cheers.
The first time was scary, she said, and she was literally trembling, but now its part of what she does and she encourages new members of the team to try their wings.
Records is majoring in mass communications and minoring in legal studies. In addition to her studies, she works for Klondike Kate's as a waitress and spends time in the gym keeping fit.
“I have a full agenda and lots of 'to do' lists, but it feels good to cross things off and then start a new list,” she said.
However, during spring break, Records is taking a week off to experience April in Paris. “The airfare was a bargain, I have a friend who has an apartment where I can stay and I've never been out of the United States -- I can hardly wait,” Records said.
Article by Sue Moncure