This is my third season cheering on the Indianapolis Colts and I can honestly say I LOVE what I do! To say that I am blessed is definitely an understatement. Not only is it a blast to dance and perform on Sundays, but I also enjoy getting to bond with my teammates and meeting all of the Colts fans out there – we really do have some of the greatest fans! Some of my most favorite memories as a Colts Cheerleader include cheering in that unbelievable comeback during the playoffs against the Chiefs, being awarded 2014 Rookie of the Year, skydiving to benefit Canopies for Kids, and shooting our AMAZING 2015-2016 calendar in Cancun!
Aside from being a cheerleader, I am a full time student at Herron School of Art & Design. I am currently working on achieving my Bachelor of Science in Visual Communication and it has been a fun and interesting ride so far! I have really grown to love designing for the web, apps, apparel design and visual graphics. When I am not at a cheer function or school, I love to hit a workout at LA Fitness or Core Pilates and Fitness, cook and bake, make some sort of project off of Pinterest, or sit on the couch and watch Netflix! Living the dream, I know!
This busy life I live wouldn't be at all possible if it weren't for my incredible support system. First and foremost, I have to thank my mom and my boyfriend, Casey. They have to be my two biggest fans! I also would like to thank the rest of my friends, family and my army of voters/fans, #TeamMariah. You all make my heart so happy, the amount of love and support I get from all of you is absolutely incredible and it's what keeps me going! I also would like to thank all of the amazing Colts fans out there. I'm sure I've met half of you, and if I haven't, I look forward to hopefully meeting you in the future. You all are the true spirit behind the Horseshoe!
You were featured in the "Core Killer" Cheer Challenge with Sean Bartram, official trainer of the Colts Cheerleaders. What is your go-to ab exercise?
All of the ab exercises that we did in the "Core Killer" video are excellent, in fact, the cheerleaders do them or something similar every Thursday at practice!
Another good abdominal builder, and probably an underestimated one, would be weighted squats without a belt! Not only are you working your legs and gluts, but you are also strengthening your core by helping your body support the weight when you're squatting!
What is your favorite thing about being an Indianapolis Colts Cheerleader?
One thing I really enjoy is working with kids! I had so many positive influences growing up and they helped mold me into the person I am today. Getting to be in a position where I can have an influence is an absolute honor! I love getting to share my passion for dancing and performing with these little girls. I hope to spark a love for dance and also inspire them to be the absolute best person they can be. That is one rewarding part of this job and I am so happy I get to be a part of it!
You enjoy watching Bear Grylls on TV. If you were stranded in the wilderness and could only bring one item, what would it be and why?
Like Bear, I would have to bring a backpack of some essential items. Some sort of utility knife and some odd items and I can use my creativity to help me out.
Do you have any upcoming duct tape art projects?
I currently do not. My duct tape hobby comes and goes in random spurts. That is mostly because I am keeping so busy this summer with cheer activities and my design internship at Plan the Day! When I get a moment of free time, I will probably come up with something crazy to do with my beloved duct tape.
You were a counselor at Colts Cheer Summer Camp last week. What was your favorite part of this experience?
I love getting to be a positive influence for these girls. I absolutely love seeing their excitement when they walk through the doors ready to start the day at camp. It makes me so happy to see them all laughing, playing, and having the time of their lives, especially when they are dancing! I was definitely worn out at the end of the week, but it was all worth it at the end of the day because these girls had a blast at camp!