Hey there Colts Nation! I am Rookie Colts Cheerleader, Sammy! Wow is all I have to say. If I would have been told when I was younger that I would be an NFL Cheerleader, I never would have believed it. Now, with it being my very first season, I still can't believe what an incredible opportunity and blessing this is. One of the very first things I had to do once making the team was get my passport to go to the beautiful Riviera Maya, Mexico to shoot the 2015-2016 Swimsuit Calendar. Let me first say that I've never been out of the country before, let alone to do a photoshoot on a beach in Cancun for a Swimsuit Calendar! It doesn't stop there. I was then blessed with the crazy experience of going to Honduras over the 4th of July with a few of my teammates and met some wonderful troops who are stationed down there. But, one of my favorite experiences this far was spending my 21st birthday cheering on our Colts during the Patriots game on October 18th. Best. Birthday. Ever!
Words will never be able to express how grateful I am for this crazy life, but THANK YOU! Thank you Colts Nation for being the best fans in the NFL. Thank you Colts for allowing me to be a part of this incredible organization. Thank you to my teammates for being the most encouraging and inspirational women in my life. And thank you to my mommy, for being my biggest cheerleader!
At what age did you start participating in pageants and what inspired you to start doing them?
I'm kind of a newbie to this whole pageant thing! As a young girl I would watch the Miss America Pageant on television each year and aspired to be on that stage one day. Once I graduated high school, I decided to make that childhood dream a reality. Little did I know how much work actually goes into competing in a Miss America local pageant. There are 5 areas of competition which include on-stage question, lifestyle and fitness in swimsuit, evening wear, talent, and the infamous ten minute interview with the judges where they can ask you anything from "Who's your greatest inspiration?" to "What actions should the United States be taking to end the savage threats ISIS holds over our country?" The hard work all pays off in the end when I walked away from Miss Indiana with 35 new girl friends, a whole new, absolutely wonderful support family, and scholarship money to help further my education. I look forward to making it back to Miss Indiana in 2016 in hopes of representing Indiana on the Miss America stage!
As a Colts Cheer rookie, what is something you've had to adapt to now being a professional NFL Cheerleader?
You know, growing up I was actually a ballet dancer. I went to my dance classes Mondays thru Thursdays from 4-9pm and Saturdays from 10-4pm. Ballet was my life. I was trained to be angelic and graceful. Now, I'm sure we all know that being an NFL Cheerleader is the total opposite! One of the biggest things I've had to adapt to is the style we portray in our dances as cheerleaders. I've had to really concentrate on how to be sharp and big versus the flowy movement I've been used to as a ballet dancer. It's been a huge change, but it's also been so much fun doing a style of dance I've never really done before!
You suffered from a broken back last year. How long did it take you to overcome this injury and start dancing again?
It's so crazy to me that it's been a year and a half since then! To those of you who don't know the story, I was in a car wreck on the interstate with a semi, and let's just say my little Honda didn't stand a chance. I broke my back. After being in the hospital for a few days, on bedrest for two weeks, in a back-brace for six months, and not being able to dance or exercise for 9 months, I was anxious to get back in the studio to see what my body would be able to do. To no surprise, I couldn't do much of anything without pain. This is when I learned "hope trumps discouragement." I had hope that the struggle would get easier, and it did! Exactly one year after my accident, my name was called as an Indianapolis Colts Cheerleader. Do I still struggle with back pain? Everyday. Does it still hurt to dance? Every time. Does it make me want to give up? Never. Because my love for dance and my love for this squad is so much greater than any pain I may encounter.
What is one thing you want to obtain from this football season?
I'm sure our players would say they want a Super Bowl win, but as a cheerleader, I want to obtain as many connections with as many people as possible. I want to make our incredible Colts fans feel loved and cherished. I want to make our Colts staff feel important and appreciated. And I want to make my fellow Colts Cheer sisters feel like the most amazing women on this planet! Being an NFL Cheerleader isn't something that comes along every day, so I want to make the most of my time as one.
Your all-time favorite movie is...
There's a 3-way tie between Cinderella, Tangled, and The Little Mermaid! I will never grow out of my Disney Princess phase...ever.
Indianapolis Colts Cheerleader: Sammy