Reunited and it "Cheers" so Good!
Alumni Cheerleaders is excited to share the latest on member, Leslie Shaw Hatchard, for this week’s feature “After the Poms” story! This talented lady is a former Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader and Dallas Mavs Dancer!! Let’s find out what Leslie is doing now “After the Poms”.
Tell our readers a little bit about yourself and where you are you from.
My name is Leslie Shaw Hatchard, but I am frequently call me "P'nut" because of my petite size of 4 foot 11 inches. I was born in 1971 in the cheerleading capital of the world...Dallas, Texas! I am blessed to have spent over 20 years in the dance and professional cheerleading industry.
Were cheerleading and dancing a part of your life when you were younger and how did you get involved?
Like many little girls I grew up taking dance and gymnastics classes. I was also a pianist, clarinetist and violinist. By the time I reached high school those had all fallen to the bottom of the list because dancing had taking over my life. I loved dancing on the high school drill team as well as serving as a drill team officer. I continued dancing on my college dance team and eventually moved into professional dance and finally into professional cheerleading.
You are a former professional cheerleader for the illustrious Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders. Please tell us about your experience cheering for the Cowboys.
Becoming a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader was the most amazing and unbelievable event in my dance career. It was mostly because of the impact it has had on me and my life. It was everything and nothing that I had envisioned. There's no way to describe the feeling of performing in that perfect uniform in front of thousands of people at Texas Stadium...seeing the blue and white star logo and the ring of honor in person...wow... My breath was truly taken away every time I stepped one boot at a time on the turf for a game. Performing with the world famous Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders that I had only watched before was a dream come true, but something was off. How can I be in this huge, beautiful place yet feeling invisible and small all at the same time? I won the lottery but I could not cash the check. I would do it all again if I had the choice because it was the road God believed I needed to travel down to see what I needed to see and learn what I needed to learn in order to get to where I am today. I am grateful for ALL my experiences as a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader.
In addition to cheering for the NFL, you also were an NBA Dancer for the Dallas Mavericks. Please share about that experience one or several of your most memorable moments.
Some of my most memorable moments as a cheerleader are when I was voted Dallas Mavs Dancer of the year in 1996 and when I was given a buy onto the Mavs team and was not required to re-audition. Lastly, it was opportunity to witness the birth of 2 pro cheerleading squads from thought through to fruition successfully.(Texas Legends Dancers & Dallas Sidekicks "Sizzle.")
What advice would you give to a current or future cheerleader?
Stay true to yourself every time you step on the field or court, take with you the hearts of all the little girls that look up to you and a few of the women that would love to trade places with you.
Tell us what you are doing now and “After the Poms”. You are a busy young lady with being a choreographer, director, and author. We understand you have a new book that will be coming out soon. What is the name of it and when and where should we look for it?
I currently live outside of Dallas in McKinney, Texas with my husband of 17 years (Scott) and my two daughters Kennedy (13 yrs) and Madison (15 yrs).
I'm a full-time dance instructor and dance judge. I enjoy directing the Dallas Sidekicks "Sizzle" Dancers who are the pro dance team for the Major Indoor Soccer Leagues Dallas Sidekicks. When I'm not teaching, directing, or judging I'm speaking and using my book to educate young dancers and ladies about the importance of self-worth, accountability and empowerment.
My book "What I Learned Half Naked: Tales of a Pro Cheerleader" is currently available on Kindle and Amazon.com. I love hearing about other women's experiences in the pro cheerleading industry and would love to hear from some of your readers.
Travel destination: Destin, Florida or anywhere my family is!
Book: Wisdom of the Ages by Wayne Dyer
Movie: 300 & Inception
Quote: "When you find your path, you must not be afraid. You need to have sufficient courage to make mistakes. Disappointment, defeat, and despair are the tools God uses to show us the way.
Thank you so much Leslie for your time and interview! We are wishing much continued success with all of your ventures!!