INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – A bit of misdirection helped the Colts surprise their newest cheerleaders, just selected to the team for the first time.
Trickery in Zoom invitations got each new member on a call with coaches and veterans of the squad to announce the news that they made the roster.
“I was like ‘I’ve been given the wrong meeting ID’, so I kept getting off,” laughs first-year Colts Cheerleader, Brooklyn. “I still feel like I’m in a dream.”
“I was like, I’m confused,” recalls another first-year member, Jada. “What am I looking at? (My sister sitting next to me) was like, ‘Surprise!’ and I was like, ‘Oh my goodness.'”
“It was completely unexpected,” adds Lanie, also a first-year. “To be caught completely off guard by the news I’ve been waiting to hear, it was the best lie I’ve ever been told.”
The audition process had to go virtual this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but creating this moment of celebration with the new members was important to the team.
“I wanted them all to enjoy that moment together because it really kicks off our season in a really united way,” explains Colts Director of Cheerleading Kelly Tilley. “It’s one of my favorite times of the year, being able to bring somebody’s dream to life.”
“That morning, it was like Christmas for me,” Tilley continues. “I was so excited. Our staff all knew about it. I don’t think we were very productive that day.”
“Our coaches and all the other veteran cheerleaders have done such an amazing thing by making us already kind of feel like one and feel like we’re excited for this whole journey,” says Lanie.
The journey ahead will likely be a unique one as COVID-19 continues to re-shape normal practices in the sports world and beyond.
“I’m excited to jump in,” smiles Jada. “Any opportunity, dance related or not, I’m ready to go.”