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Meet The Cheerleader Of The Week: Vanessa

Posted Nov 28, 2017

Growing up on the South Side of Indianapolis, for Vanessa, dance was part of her family and it was always part of her life.

“My mom was my dance teacher and she was the artistic director at a dance studio in Greenwood and then she opened up her own place for a while,” she says. “My cousins danced. My brother danced for a while. So, we have a lot of dancers in our family.”

When she’s not dancing herself, she’s coaching other dancers.

“I coach the Center Grove Middle School dance team. I teach them on Monday and Tuesdays. And then I coach my high school team, Center Grove High School on Wednesday and Thursday,” she says. “And then in the evening, I teach dance classes Monday and Wednesday nights and I cheer Tuesday and Thursday nights. Fridays, we’re typically at football games and basketball games. Saturdays are my day off from dance and Sundays are for cheer.”

On Saturdays, she sells wedding dresses at The Wedding Studio in Greenwood.

“It’s nice because it kind of goes with dance, there’s a lot of sparkle. It’s a lot of finding the right fit. I just love making people feel beautiful and making people feel confident. It’s the best part of the job. I love it.”

She's also loved becoming a part of the Colts family.


“It has been the craziest ride – in a good way,” she says. “I’ve had some amazing opportunities. I’ve met some amazing people – not just in the Colts organization, but in the community and at different appearances. It’s just really opened a lot of doors dance-wise and networking with a lot of people that I never would have thought about.”

As Vanessa found out, being a Colts Cheerleader is about much more than game day. She leaned heavily on the veterans as she learned the ropes this season. And in the process, she learned a little about herself.

“Especially when it comes to work or with dance, I like to be very serious and I like to not talk and kind of stay in my own space. But they kind of pull me out of that and they make it more fun for me.”

They also make it easier for her to build relationships.

“I have always struggled with making friends,” she says. “But these girls do a really good job of making me talk to them. It’s not like I’m forced to or anything, but they make me want to talk and engage with them. And I’ve never had this many friends.”

Growing up with brothers, being a part of a sisterhood is new for Vanessa. It’s not something she expected. But it’s something she appreciates more and more.

“I’ve never been around such a supportive group of girls. It’s made my experience the best that it could possibly be.”

But the most supportive female in her life is her mom, Hannah. She coaches the high school dance team alongside her. And on Sunday, she danced alongside her during a special halftime show at Lucas Oil Stadium.

“She was like, ‘I get to dance with you.’ We’ve never done that before. For all the years of dance together, it was nice to finally be able to do that with her.”

It was a chance to share the spotlight with the woman who brought it into her life.

Dance is now in every part of Vanessa’s life.

And she wouldn’t have it any other way.

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