Thursday, Aug 21, 2014 10:03 am est

What’s in Your Bag: Courtenay Brown

Posted on April 14, 2014 | by Se Won Park

Se Won Park for WSN

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.

Teddy Bear

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


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Felipe De La Hoz

Multimedia Editor | Felipe De La Hoz is a Colombian national studying journalism at the College of Arts and Sciences. Having been born in Colombia and raised in the United States, Mexico and Brazil, Felipe is a trilingual travel aficionado and enjoys working in varied and difficult environments. Apart from his photography, Felipe enjoys investigative reporting and interviews, interviewing the likes of Colombian ex-M-19 guerrilla fighters and controversial politician Jimmy McMillan. He has covered everything from governmental conferences to full-blown riots, as well as portraiture shoots and dining photography. Having worked under Brazilian photojournalists for Reuters and AFP, Felipe hopes to one day work on demanding journalistic projects and contribute to the global news cycle.

Ann Schmidt

News Editor | Ann is a liberal studies sophomore who lived in Florence during her freshman year. She plans on double-majoring in journalism and political science and is always busy. She is constantly making lists and she loves to laugh.


Daniel Yeom

Daniel started at the Features desk of WSN last Spring, writing restaurant reviews whilst indulging on free food and consequently getting fat. Last Fall, he was the dining editor, and he this semester he is senior editor. Daniel is in Gallatin (living the dream) studying Food & Travel Narratives, incorporating aspects of Food Studies, Journalism, and Media, Culture, and Communication. He loves food more than life itself.

Hannah Luu

Deputy Multimedia Editor | Hannah Luu is a ridiculously great Deputy Multimedia Editor. She is a sophomore from Northern California. If you think Northern California means San Francisco you might need to closely examine a map. She is passionate about NPR and being half Asian.

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