Cheerleader of the Week 2016: Sammy

Meet the Colts Cheerleader Of The Week

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Colts Cheerleader Sammy grew up on the south side of Indianapolis and started dancing when she was four years old.

"I started at the Dance Refinery in Greenwood and then when I was in the third grade, I was like, 'I want to do this seriously.' And I went up to Butler's dance program. So, I danced up there until I was a freshman in high school."

Highlights from Sammy's 2017 Colts Cheerleaders Swimsuit Calendar Shoot. (Nehrt Family Farm - Crothersville, IN)

A ballet dancer on pointe, she was doing a leap in practice one day, landed wrong, and broke her foot. It ended her dancing career for years.

"I didn't do anything after that. When you're a dancer, that's all you do. I was at dance Monday through Thursday from 4 until 9 and then Saturdays from 10 to 4. That was your life," she says. "I didn't know that I was good at anything else because I had never done anything else. I never played a sport in my entire life, it was just dance."

Eventually, she started dancing again on her high school dance team. And when she graduated, another door opened up.

"I started the Miss America program and Megan Meadors, who is a former Colts cheerleader, is a part of that as well. She was Miss Indiana in 2008. After she saw me dance, she was like, 'You really need to try out for the Colts.'"

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She decided to give it a try and went to the last prep class before auditions. Two days later, she was on the highway when a semi changed lanes and didn't see her.

"He hit the back driver's side of my car and I spun in front of him and there was a concrete median right in the middle, so I went head on into that."

She thought she was paralyzed.

"I couldn't feel anything, everything went numb from the waist down. As a dancer, the first thing I'm thinking of is, 'Oh my God, I'm not going to be able to dance again.'"

She wasn't paralyzed, but she did break her back. She spent three days in the hospital, two weeks on bed rest, and six months in a back brace.

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"As soon as I could, I was able to get back into the gym and I tried to start dancing again. As soon as workshops started back up, I went straight back."

A year later, she auditioned again and didn't think she'd make it past the second round.

"On finals night, they ended up calling my name and I'm like, 'Oh. This is happening.'"

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Now in her second season, being a Colts cheerleader has given Sammy a stage. And it's given her back something else she lost along the way. 

"After moving between a couple different high schools, I kind of lost my group of friends. And I didn't go to university, I was never in a sorority, and being a part of the team kind of gave me that and gave me those experiences so I don't feel like I've missed out on anything."

She's learned a lot about herself the past few years. But most of all, what Sammy has learned is to never give up on your dream – no matter what.

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