Reunited and it "Cheers" so Good!
This week’s feature “After the Poms” story is on one of our newest Alumni Cheerleaders members, Saida Leekong! Saida is a former New York Jets and Memphis Grizzlies Cheerleader/Dancer. Find out what she’s doing now and the launch of her new company ProCheer Fitness & Dance!!
Were cheerleading and dancing a part of your life when you were younger?
Absolutely, I began dancing at the age of four. I trained in jazz, tap and ballet. I was a competitive dancer and danced for my high school dance team before beginning my professional career. A fun fact, I appeared in dance spirit magazine at 7 for playing Clara in a modern adaption of the Nutcracker.
You were a member of an NFL and NBA Team. What years did you cheer and dance for the Memphis Grizzlies and New York Jets? How did the experience differ for you between performing for the NBA and NFL?
I danced for Memphis Grizzlies 2008-2009 and New York Jets 2010. Both teams were great experiences, and I grew so much as a person and performer. NBA is more intimate, and the fans are right there on the floor with you. We are much more interactive with the fans during the games, we throw shirts, play games, there are costume changes, etc. It’s a very different environment from the NFL which is equally exciting! The NFL is very busy, reporters, football players running at the speed of lighting and a sea of fans! Football fans are very passionate so the energy in the stadium is exhilarating. I'm blessed that I had the opportunity to experience both.
What your most memorable moments as a cheerleader and dancer?
I have had so many great experiences and opportunities on anf off the court/field that I am grateful for. However, my most memorable experience is getting to mentor young women during the many outreach programs we participated in during my time as a Memphis Grizz Girl. Giving back and sharing the performing arts with underprivileged youth is something I am very passionate about. This passion lead me to create the Spring Back program which is a for Non Profit program geared to targeting youth obesity, building self-esteem and healthy self-image amongst girls 8-14.
What advice would you give to a current or future cheerleader/dancer?
The advice I would give is to enjoy the opportunity and use your platform to help others. Being a PRO cheerleader is not only a great accomplishment, but also makes you a role model and ambassador for your team and community. I would advise women with this opportunity to use their influence to make a change. Whether it is getting involved in your community or creating your own charity can make a difference. Lastly, just enjoy the ride, being a PRO cheerleader is the experience of a lifetime and seasons go by fast, take every moment in and take lots of pictures
Tell us what you are doing now and what you do in your spare time. We understand you just launched a new company ProCheer Fitness & Dance. Congratulations to you!! Please tell us about and where we can learn more about your company.
Thank you so much! I've been very busy with the Launch of ProCheer Fitness & Dance, but as most of us cheerleaders know how to do best, I juggle many roles. Besides running a company I am a working actress and model in NYC. You can currently catch me on "My Dirty Little Secrets" on Investigation Discovery playing Jennifer Hudson on "Celebrity Ghost Stories" which airs March 28th on Lifetime Movie Network. In my free time I love going to sporting events, working out, catching broadway shows and enjoying all the amazing food & shopping in NYC.
Travel destination: I traveled to Santorini, Greece this past fall and it was absolutely breathtaking. I love to travel and experience different cultures but one place id love to explore more is Italy!
Movie: Bring It On! I can literally quote and do every routine in the movie. LOL!
Quote: "To whom Much is Given, Much is Required" Luke 12:4-8
Thank you so much Saida for your time and interview with Alumni Cheerleaders! You are a talented young lady. Cheers to huge success with ProCheer Fitness and Dance!!
Register NOW for ProCheer Fitness & Dance: Audition Prep Classes are being held in New York City at Ripley Grier Studios!
March 15, 2014 - 1:00 - 2:00 PM (recurring every Saturday in March)