Cheerleader of the Week 2016: Ciarra

Meet the Colts Cheerleader of the Week

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Born in Berkeley, California, Ciarra and her mother moved back to Indiana when she was a young girl.

"My mom was born and raised here, went out to California, lived there for 20 years and then ended up moving back here when my grandparents got a little older and we moved in with them," she says. "I think I was four."

Around the age of three, Ciarra started ballet and gymnastics classes. Soon after, she added jazz and tap. And between her mom and her grandparents, she always had an audience.

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"They were super supportive and they taught me a lot, but they also kind of babied me. I wasn't the only grandchild, but I was the only one who lived with them."

As she got older, she got even more involved with more things.

"I did the Johnson County fair queen, I ran track for a little bit, I did show choir, I did the dance team at school, I did student council and National Honor Society. And then I did competitive dance, which took a whole lot of my time."

Indianapolis Colts Cheerleader: Ciarra

Ciarra took a break from dancing while in college at Indiana University, but she taught at One Step Above studio in Bloomington – and crossed paths with another future Colts cheerleader, Mariah.

After college, she ended up overseas for a few years and got to see the world.

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"I moved to Afghanistan. I worked for a government contracting company over there," she says. "When I was over there, I was able to travel a lot – Thailand, Corsica, Spain, France, we went to Dubai a lot. We had a good time and that was how I was able to purchase my own home at such an early age, because the money over there was pretty good."

When she got back, she auditioned for the Colts Cheerleaders and she spent time cheering on her team while building a sisterhood of her own.

"We have great opportunities with the Colts. And I love that we get to go places. But I've noticed as I've gotten older that more importantly than where I'm going is who I'm with," she says. "I kind of grew up the last four years with Mariah and Leanna and Kaiti."

Which is why she decided at this time last year to come back for one more season.

"I thought, 'I'll give it one more year. I'm not ready to be done. These are kind of my sisters that I grew up with. And they're not done yet either.'"

True to her word, Ciarra just finished her last season as a Colts cheerleader. Now the executive director of a healthcare facility, she's starting a new job with the same company in the same role – in Dallas, Texas.

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It brings her a little closer to the place where her story began, but a lot farther from the women who are near and dear to her.

"I'll have to come back and see my girlfriends because I'll definitely miss them," she says. "It's kind of bittersweet, but I had a good four years. I'm kind of ready to be done and move on to the next chapter in my life and see what the future holds."

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