Make way for the Rotterdam Cheerleaders!

Gepubliceerd op 4 september 2022 om 09:30

Rotterdam Basketbal exists almost 70 years, and is playing on the highest level of The Netherlands since 1988. After a lot of different names for the club, they are called Zeeuw & Zeeuw Feyenoord Basketball for a while now. They also have some amazing cheerleaders: the Rotterdam Cheerleaders. In this article, Staisy, Priscilla, Jessie and Sam will tell us more about Rotterdam Cheerleaders!

Passion for dancing

The 25 years old Staisy is the founder of the Rotterdam Cheerleaders. She knows what it takes to get such a team going in the Netherlands. “I came to The Netherlands around seven years ago, and once I got here I realized that there was no any cheerleading dance team at sport events in Rotterdam,” Staisy says. “I decided to try to set it up myself, and so here we are: a team of very talented girls with a lot of passion to perform. I am very happy that everything worked out this way! “

Priscilla saw Rotterdam Cheerleaders on TV two years ago, and she thought that it could be fun to join them for experience! “I already finished my master’s degree at Erasmus University, but I saw that they had a cheerleading practice over there,” Priscilla explains. “I messaged Staisy, and since then I never left!”

Another cheerleader Jessie tells her story: “I joined the Rotterdam Cheerleaders last year. I met Staisy in another dance class,” Jessie says. “I never did anything with cheerleading before, so it was the whole new world for me. I caught up with basketball since last year. So far I love it here!”

Sam fell in love with the idea of supporting sport teams instantly. “I joined the Rotterdam Cheerleaders about two years ago,” says Sam. “I saw some girls at the Campus Day during Eureka with some pompoms, and they told me all about it. After two years, I am still enjoying it really a lot!”

Anyone can dance

For some of them, cheerleading wasn’t the first dance experience. “When I was four years old, dance came into my life,” Staisy says. “I actually have an education in dancing from Russia. You can imagine that dance is a big cultural thing there. My dance education is based on classical Russian ballet which is very different from other modern styles. When I turned 18 years old I decided to try something different, and eventually got stuck with cheerleading because it combines all the modern dance styles that I love.”

Priscilla: “The first time I started dancing was also the first time I came to Rotterdam Cheerleaders. I never danced before, so in the beginning; everyone went to the left during a dance while I went to the other side. I might gave Staisy a hard time in the beginning, but she managed to help me to improve so now I can perform with everyone.”

Jessie: “I started dancing at the age of seven with ballroom dancing. As the years passed by it became a very important part of my life. When I came to The Netherlands I approached different styles of dance: modern, jazz, and now cheerleading, which turned out to be a perfect combination of everything.”

Sam: “I also started with ballet just like Staisy. From ballet I moved to hip-hop dance, salsa and right now cheerleading.”

Staisy: “I noticed that quite some girls have a background with dancing, but some of them start from level zero. That doesn’t matter, because everyone is able to dance and our dancers always help each other. Anyone can dance and for some girls it will take longer while for others faster. If someone really wants to learn something, then we are ready to provide them support!”

Dancing and Basketball

It took time before feeling at home on the field with Zeeuw&Zeeuw Feyenoord Basketball. For these four cheerleaders it is almost impossible not to think about dancing with them anymore. Staisy: “It was very interesting at the beginning! They didn’t know what to expect from us, and we didn’t know what to expect from them. It was a new experience for them as well. Trial and error moments were happening all the time. It was quite a lot of managing; you needed to know all the girls, figuring out what music to use and at what time, the size of the field and what audience would come to the game. That was very overwhelming, but in time it became less of a challenge and more fun! We are very used to the way it is now. We can improve our entertainment, for example now we will also greet our guests at the entrance doors, which is so fun to do!”

Priscilla: “Two years ago there wasn’t any audience due to Covid. That made it easier for me to step in and join the team. During my day-job I do a lot of event management, so you have to keep your head cool. After work you can let it all out and unleash every kind of emotion in performance.”

Jessie: “At first I thought I wouldn’t be nervous at all. But my first game when I started was a sponsored game with a lot of audience. My heart went to my hills! But I thought about everything we learnt and brought it all on the court. When the music started, I got used of everything fast. It was a great experience and an awesome beginning!”

Sam: “I joined Rotterdam Cheerleaders and it was really overwhelming in the beginning! I love to dance during time-outs or half time, but I really love the crowd! You get very hyped during the game, and I didn’t think that I would like it so much!”

Special moments

There will always be a game or a moment is a fantastic memory. For the cheerleaders there are some unforgettable moments as well. Staisy: “Coach Toon van Helfteren got really mad at one of the referees that made a mistake. He walked off the field and that was the first time that a thing like this happened! I wouldn’t forget that moment.”

Priscilla: “On the 29th of April, after the game against Antwerp Giants, I came back home and watched the game of Zeeuw & Zeeuw back on television. During the shots you saw us dancing and heard are name: Welcome Rotterdam Cheerleaders! Then you saw a shot of the basketball players, and there was one player, Terrence Bieshaar, who started clapping for us. I think that was a really nice moment, just to see that they actually notice us and support us as well!”

Jessie: “That game against Antwerp Giants was a really big game. We danced on the court a lot of times, and I saw that the audience liked it very much. I learned so much in a short time!”

Sam: “I can remember one game that the score was so close. In the last 10 seconds everyone was pretty nervous, even us cheerleaders. Even though our team didn’t win, it was an amazing moment to see that everyone was focused on the game and wanted Feyenoord to win. Thriller games are always exciting!”

Those girls have so much talent, and know what it takes to get better and how to be part of a great show. Do you have dance ambitions, or would you like to become a cheerleader? Go and check their social media!

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