IHS cheerleaders get opportunity to perform with the pros at Arrowhead Stadium

during the halftime of the pre-season Chiefs game against the Seattle Seahawks, Saturday, August 13 at 3:30 p.m.


Autumn Peeper

Cheerleaders prepare for 2016 Spirit Day clinic at Kansas City Chiefs’ practice facility.

Persephone Means, Editor

“When I first received the information for the 2016 Chiefs Spirit Day, I was thrilled for the girls to have the opportunity to be able to perform on such a big stage. The girls were just as excited and so far this has been an amazing experience,” said second-year Iola High School cheer coach Autumn Peeper.

Last Saturday, August 6, the Kansas City Chiefs Cheerleaders held a Spirit Day clinic for approximately 200 members of surrounding area dance and cheer teams. The Iola High School cheerleaders were able to travel to Arrowhead Stadium and be a part of that. With the chance to work with and learn from the Chiefs Cheerleaders, they have also been given the opportunity to perform during halftime of the pre-season Chiefs game against the Seattle Seahawks, Saturday, August 13 at 3:30 p.m.

Junior Emilee Luedke said that the most fun part for herself was, “at the beginning, when they split all of us into two groups and we had a sort of chant/dance off. The result was really nice.” Junior Karly McGuffin said that the best part was, “getting to dance in front of all the other groups and meeting squads from other schools.”

Working with professional cheerleaders could be an intimidating experience, however, the IHS cheerleaders found it to be quite the opposite. McGuffin said, “The cheerleaders were super nice and helpful. They were always cheering us on and telling us to keep going.” Luedke said, “They were all really cool and down to earth. They were personable and even talked to us about their high school experiences.” The information that the girls learned at the clinic will be useful for the upcoming football season. “It was nice to work with and learn from the professional cheerleaders since we can bring that back to IHS,” said senior Karima Hall.

The clinic lasted for almost five hours in the non-air conditioned Chiefs’ practice facility. Most of the cheerleaders agreed that this was the most difficult part to get through. The other thing that the girls agreed on was the difficulty of learning the choreography on their own time before the clinic. Luedke said, “The dance was easy, it was just difficult to learn and retain because it was so fast paced and long.”

Peeper agreed. “Most of our squad has at least some dance experience and the choreography was not that difficult, but the dance is faster than they are used to and about twice as long. I’m extremely confident in our girls. One of the first things they did at the clinic was line up and show that they knew the choreography. Our squad lined up front and center and they knew it better than most. They only got better as the afternoon wore on. It will definitely be a new experience to perform in a stadium that large with an equally large audience, but I am confident that they will do a great job,” said Peeper. “We will be at the stadium early this Saturday for an on-field rehearsal before the game and I think that will help them work through some of the nerves.”

The IHS cheerleaders will also be performing the routine that they learned at an Iola High School football game this season.