CAS senior Courtenay Brown, an aspiring journalist, is one of NYU’s cheerleading captains. Despite having an academic schedule packed with broadcast journalism and Africana and Latino studies, Brown manages to leave room to participate in athletics.
Brown has cheered throughout her four years at NYU and attended the annual NCA National Championship in Daytona Beach, Fla., last week. For the championship, 19 cheerleaders competed against collegiate teams from all over the country. Out of the 10 teams, the University of Michigan ultimately took first place, with NYU’s team coming in ninth. Brown shared which essentials she carried in her backpack for the competition.
Folder and Itinerary
“Because our administrator splits between dance and cheer when we are at nationals, it is important for me to carry documents such as emergency contact lists, release forms, packing lists and performance schedules,” Brown said.
Brown makes sure the team stays together and is on top of where they need to be. Because of the size of the national competition, it is imperative that the team stays together, which also allows them to use mat space more efficiently.
Makeup and Hair Pouch
Brown packs her bag with purple eyeshadow, red lipstick, cans of hairspray and a lot of bobby pins. In cheerleading competitions, appearance is a crucial aspect of performance and is a huge factor in the team’s score.
It is important that the team carries these products at all times to touch up throughout the day, especially right before performing. During constant practice and rehearsals in the moments before the final performance, the team’s makeup easily becomes ruined and must be reapplied.
Tape and Brace
Brown’s backpack is also filled with different tapes and multiple ankle braces in case there are any last-minute injuries or one of the cheerleaders needs an ankle or wrist wrapped.
Brown also carries an extensive medical kit in the event that a member of the team scrapes herself or falls during a run through. As a captain, Brown said it is her responsibility to make sure all the athletes are prepared before performing stunts and tumbling on the mat.
Although not an essential item for cheer competitions, Brown carries a teddy bear adorned with various badges and key chains. Brown said her favorite badge is the one that says, “One Step at a Time.” She said this phrase motivates her to push through a tough day at practice. Ever since her freshman year, Brown has carried the bear with her to practices and competitions.
“I received this when I started cheerleading at NYU,” Brown said. “This is my good luck teddy bear. A teammate’s mom got this for us and this was the year we made it to finals. It’s filled with great memories.”
A version of this article appeared in the Monday, April 14 print edition. Se Won Park is a contributing writer. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.