Kiersten Hughes: Siena College Cheerleader

Kiersten Hughes (aka kierycheer) is a junior at Siena College. She is a Math Major with a Education Minor, and she also cheers for the Siena team. She has been cheerleading since she was young; and her junior and her senior year of highschool her cheer team qualified for Nationals in Florida. Junior year they placed 13th, and Senior year they placed 11th out of a couple hundred teams. She has two older brothers and lives in Westchester, New York. Fun fact - she was part of a behind the scenes act for the famous comedy show Impractical Jokers. 

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Her Campus Siena: How long have you been cheerleading?

Kiersten Hughes: I started cheerleading when I was in third grade, so for 13 years.

HCS: What is the process you have to go through in order to become a Siena cheerleader?

KH: There's one tryout day from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and in the beginning we are taught a cheer, dance, and then we worked on some stunts. After we learn everything, we are put into groups and get assigned a time to come back and tryout. During that section we have to show our jumps (usually four jumps), do the cheer, and dance we were taught. Then we get notified that day or the day after if we made the team.

HCS: What made you want to cheer for Siena?

KH: At first I didn't want to. I was on the fence because in middle and high school I would compete against other schools but the Siena team is just a club sport so we only cheer for the basketball games. One reason I joined was because I wanted to meet new people as a freshman and be involved in the community. It would also be strange for me not to cheer since I have been cheering for 13 years. 

HCS: What is your favorite part about being a Siena cheerleader?

KH: My favorite part is definitely supporting the basketball team and showing my school spirit. It's also a lot of fun and I’ve established strong friendships with my teammates.

HCS: What is your least favorite part about being a Siena cheerleader?

KH: It's a big commitment and it can be hard at times handling both school work and cheerleading, especially because we practice three times a week.

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HCS: You said it's hard to balance both school and cheer, how do you manage to do both?

KH: Practices are mostly at night, so I try and do all my homework during the day so I’m not stressed after practice.

HCS: Is it exciting being able to cheer at the Times Union?

KH: Definitely. The big crowds make the environment more exciting and also hearing the Siena students cheering us on.

HCS: Do you ever get scared while performing as a flyer?

KH: I always get a little nervous while waiting right before I have to perform. But once when I start cheering, the nerves go away.

HCS: If someone messes up during a game, does this throw off the team?

KH: It depends. Messing up during a dance or routine doesn't have a big effect on someone else unless that person is following them. For a pyramid, if one of the posts (a stunt group that is connected to the main flyer) makes a mistake then it impacts the rest of the pyramid. For example, if the post does not get to a prep and grabs the main flyer, the flyer will not be able to complete the skill or flip.

HCS: Do you have a favorite routine or dance?

KH: Yes, it mostly depends on the stunt we are doing or the song we are dancing to. Since a teammate is in charge of making up a routine they know what the team is able to do and what the team is interested in and capable of. 

Kiersten shows her spirit on and off the court by being so involved at Siena. She is in the club Reading for the Stars where she visits an elementary school to help the students their with after school activities. She also participates in intramural sports- killing it in volleyball and basketball. But most importantly, she demonstrates what it means to be a Saint by her kindness, compassion when it comes to helping others, and contagious energy.