Throughout my college career I danced on the North Dakota State University Dance Team. This experience has lent me to certain habits; one of them is always having dance on my mind! Being a member of the Minnesota Vikings Cheerleaders is a dream come true! I am grateful for it each day. It does require, however, a lot of work. Transitioning to the MVC has had its challenges but has had plenty of rewards! One thing that has remained the same is that dance continues to remain on my mind!
I like to visualize. Before I get out of bed I run through our dances in my head, giving them a little mark with my arms. This practice helps me prepare mentally for practice. As a MVC you perfect a lot of material. I want to make sure I am always on top of it all. Being a MVC has really challenged me to adopt a whole body healthy life style! Eating well, working out and ensuring my body is able to handle practices are constants in my life. I try to eat a healthy breakfast; one that will fuel my body for a busy day, a workout is a must! I like to mix my workouts up; going to Lifetime Fitness is a great way to accomplish this! Going for runs, or setting up circuit workouts for myself are others I also find helpful! Before I get ready for work I like to run through our dances again- either mentally or quickly at my house to whatever songs I have cued up at the time. It is important to challenge myself by using other songs so that my body is used to dancing to various speeds, tempos and styles of songs. The MVC has a diverse repoitore of dances which is really fun but does require practice!
In addition to my MVC life, my daily work centers around helping children and young adults with various developmental disabilities (such as Autism.) I really have to focus on their needs, wellbeing, programming and families. It is an incredibly rewarding job but it can become both physically and mentally demanding. It is such a release for me to go MVC practices each week. Working side-by-side with all of the other MVCs really provides me with a chance to refocus and de-stress. After work it is a quick meal and then time to get ready for practice at Winter Park!
It is a MVC standard to come to practices 100% ready. Representing an organization such as the Minnesota Vikings is a big task and one we do not take lightly. I always go into a practice with a positive attitude! Some days I feel really confident about myself and the material that is expected of me and some days I am so nervous... A positive outlook is a must to overcome those nerves, especially as a rookie MVC! I love getting feedback from the coaches and other girls! It really helps me focus and channel my dancing! I try to be a sponge at practices. I listen to each coach and really focus on what they say to each girl. I watch the girls then and see what they do that makes them so successful and really shine!! Each practice I try to always tweak what I am doing. I may try something different with my look or I will dance with more strength and another day with more light and bouncy movements. Doing this helps me hone in on what the coaches think the best look is for the MVC!
We start out each practice with a workout. Like any successful workout program we like to change it up! Some days we will do yoga, some days it is strictly cardio and other days it is strength. After we do this and stretch we work on our dances and cheers for the games. There are the standard dances that we learned right away and just run through at practice to make sure they are looking good. What was surprising to me as a rookie is how quickly we learn other dances! Fans may not realize that they dances you see on Sundays were learned and perfected just a few days before! This can be challenging and stressful in the moment but is always worth it. The other girls are all so incredibly nice. I was so nervous to work with all of them but they are truly supportive and quickly washed away that fear of mine. Being a rookie MVC I felt so clueless. The girls were so quick to help me in and out of practice. After practice I go home and have a little downtime before it all starts again!
Becoming a Minnesota Vikings Cheerleader has been such a crazy ride. This past season has really challenged me in new ways but has also introduced some fantastic people into my life. I have had so much fun sharing this experience and my Viking pride with my teammates, my family and all the Minnesota Viking fans out there! Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be one of the lucky girls who were chosen to be a member of the Minnesota Vikings Cheerleaders but each day I am thankful for this opportunity! Skol Vikings!
Courtney, 1st Year MVC