Meet Bruna Cortello: The Creator of Cásper's Cheerleading Team

Bruna Cortello, 3rd year of Public Relations, is 20 years old and is one of the creators of Casper Líbero’s cheerleaders group, the Red Birds. Casperian with a strong personality, Bruna chose to study Public Relations because she identified with the course and wouldn’t choose another area beyond communication. She confessed that tried USP (University of São Paulo) for two years – she didn’t made it by 1 point –, but ended up discouraged by the idea of studying at ECA – USP (School of Communication and Arts). For this reason, and because of the name in the market, she chose to study at Cásper Líbero.

Bruna told us a little about her passion for gymnastics and how she had the idea of creating the Red Birds. "It was a very peculiar moment in my life. I suffer a lot with anxiety, so my psychologist told me to do activities that I like and that would make me so busy, that my triggers would not affect me so much to trigger a crisis. Then, I thought:  'I can create a cheers team, I love gymnastics and dancing'. In my head, it was the perfect idea! I posted in the group of freshmen students that I was with that in mind and asked if someone would like to help in the creation of the team, that's when Mari came. She helped me in everything since the beginning and is with me and the coaches in the management."

You can be sure the group is not a mess and is here to stay. According to Bruna, they also have contact with groups of other universities. "I have a group with cheerleaders’ representantives of other universities, that participates in JUCA [the University Games of Arts and Communication] and have the modality too. Furthermore, we train in the same space as the Harpias (Anhembi Morumbi’s cheers team)", says Bruna. The team of the Red Birds is part of COED category – therefore, it is mixed, with boys and girls.

A very delicate theme that the representatives faced in the creation was that they raised several questions about the patterns and stereotypes of this type of sport. "We don’t have a pattern of people and we don’t want it to be like this, we want everyone to participate, whether white or black, tall or short, fat or thin, coordinated or not. We want to include as many people as possible and show that it doesn’t matter if the creation of this mode years ago had a bad goal. Not everything that starts in a negative way should remain so just because it started. That’s why we want to show that it can be a sport without objectification of woman and/or man, without body or color standards" she affirms.

When asked about the way members were selected to join the team, the future PR said that "the idea of a selective has been abolished since creation. In the first meetings we had agreed that if the team's intention was not to restrict itself to a standard or stereotype, the word selective would be too pejorative, so we chose to use the name used in the United States: Try-Out".

"The participants must perform the basic passes of a Cheer routine – low jumps, starlets, hand stops, bearings, among others. So are evaluated the willingness to perform the steps, the sync and skills, such as 'opening 0' [the perfect espacate]. However, it's worth remembering that none of us started with all these characteristics. We just had the willpower and now we have developed the necessary skills, so it's always good to remember that it's okay if you do not know how to do something. The important thing is to have commitment and dedication with the team, the result is always positive."

Although we are referring to the Red Birds as Cheerleaders, Bruna explains that the term Cheerleaders is still unfortunately seen only as those who cheer for a college/institution and the people don’t have consideration of the physical effort and the sporting side of the modality. "We still suffer a lot from the prejudice about the modality and constant confusion of people in categorizing us as cheerleaders, those who literally cheer for the teams of the institution they represent. But in fact, we are a sports category that relates synchrony, dance and acrobatics in order to compete with other teams and develop everything with maximum perfection."

About JUCA, when asked about what she likes best during the days of competition, she answered: "The vibration of the fans in the games, the integration with the crowd and all this vibe of the best 4 days of the year". So, of course Bruna had some remarkable moments to share: "Last year, I was so excited to have arrived to the accommodation earlier, that I organized my stuff very fast and went straight to the nest. Arriving there, I realized that I had lost my key [from the lock of my tent]. The end of the story was that I stayed awake all night with firefighters, athletes and security guards looking for the key because they had no tools to break the lock on the tent and I couldn’t open the zipper at all to get the extra key".

And the story does not stop there. We know that carnival for a Casperian is practically all year long and, of course, a lot of glitter can’t be missed at parties –  and at JUCA, it doesn’t matter what happens. "I went to the hospital because I'm crazy about glitter and I cried so much at the Semi-Final of the female basketball, that all glitter felt in my eye –  and I was using contact lens. This generated an allergy/inflammation, I don’t know. I had to sell my last party ticket and I spent the night taking care of my eye to get some sleep. However, it was the best JUCA ever. Seriously!".

And as JUCA is coming, Bruna told us that the team will participate of the games of this year. "It has been agreed with AAA [Cásper's Athletics Association] that we will make a presentation in the interval of one or more games, but we still dream of having Cheerleading as a modality in Juca. I know it will not be in this year, but I fight for the sport to grow". The group is already settled up, with 22 members and 2 coaches. At the end of the conversation, Bruna made suspense: "We will not reveal our presentation, we will wait for you at JUCA to check everything closely!".