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She’s Got Spirit!

She’s Got Spirit!

by Julianna Bowen

Anna-Blair Lawrence to join the National Cheerleading Association staff after high school graduation

At the end of Anna-Blair’s sophomore year, her cheer squad attended their last competition in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, winning first place and being named High Point Champions.  Members are: (bottom row) Jordan Roy, Anna-Blair, Rachel Johnson and Allison Michaelis; (top row) Jordan Pounds, Kaylea Knighton, Joy Bruce, Henslie Starnes, Reagan Franks and Katie Parker.  

Anna-Blair with her good friend and role model Jasmine Bruce during Anna-Blair’s last cheer camp at SMU. 

Beyond leading pep rallies and energizing the crowd at Friday night football games, cheerleaders today are involved in a multitude of other events that develop their skills and showcase their abilities.  For Pleasant Grove High School cheerleaders, one of these annual events is a summer camp hosted by the National Cheerleading Association.  According to their website, “At NCA Camp, our personalized programs and instruction help build the inner strength, dedication, compassion, and drive that will inevitably shine outwardly for all to see. We build athletes from the inside out.”

It was at this camp that local senior Anna-Blair Lawrence received special recognition for her exceptional cheerleading and leadership capabilities. During the NCA camp held at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, the Pleasant Grove cheerleaders spent several days refining their stunts and dance routines before the final day of competition.  After performing, Anna-Blair was given a paper from NCA staff member and Pleasant Grove alumna Jasmine Bruce, inviting Anna-Blair to join the National Cheerleading Association staff after graduation.  “It was a really special moment because Jasmine and I had cheered together in high school and then she was the one who brought me the slip,” Anna-Blair reminisced.  

This staff position is a paid opportunity to spend the summer working at cheer camps in various cities.  For Anna-Blair, it’s a chance to continue participating in a sport she loves.  She shared, “I love helping people so I can’t wait to work with other girls who also enjoy cheerleading.” She will assist young girls individually and in small groups on the technique and form of their cheers and dances.  The job opportunity is an open invitation to her any time she is available.  Anna-Blair hopes to spend many summers working camps with the National Cheerleading Association. 

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Anna-Blair’s passion for the sport began early when she started taking gymnastics at the age of three.  Then she began cheering on competitive teams in third grade.  In middle school, she watched the older cheerleaders and couldn’t wait to try out.  “I saw how fun it looked in pep rallies, and I immediately wanted to join the team,” Anna-Blair recalled.  After making the team, she helped her squad win numerous awards at competitions near and far.  Her squad won first place in the state of Texas at the UIL Competition her junior year. A favorite competition memory was performing at Orange Beach as a sophomore where they won Grand Champion and High Point Champion titles.  Individually, Anna-Blair has earned the title of All-American Cheerleader four times.

Anna-Blair will begin working for the NCA after graduation, but first plans to enjoy the end of her senior year at Pleasant Grove High School.  She has enjoyed her years there, not only cheerleading, but also serving on the Student Council and as a member of Keyettes, an all girls service club.   Outside of school, Anna-Blair enjoys drawing and shopping and has worked for B-JAXX as a retail assistant and fashion model.  

At the conclusion of the cheerleading camps this summer, Anna-Blair will return to Texarkana where she is excited about beginning a cosmetology program through Texarkana College. 

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