Sweet and southern, just like the Chik-fil-A tea she drinks every day, Lauren Gurley is a ray of SMU sunshine. At only 4’ 10” , you might miss her walking through Cox Business School, where she is in the Alternative Assets program. However, it’s hard to miss this southern belle from Birmingham, Alabama when she’s being tossed in the air. Lauren is, and has been for past three years, the flyer for the SMU Cheer Squad.
HC: When did your cheer career get started?
Lauren: I competed as a Level 10 gymnast up until the eighth grade. I started cheerleading during my freshmen year of high school for my school’s team.
HC: How is cheer at SMU different from high school?
Lauren: It’s definitely more intense. I didn’t compete in high school so I didn’t realize the hours it takes to prepare for competitions. Balancing school work and other activities with cheer has taught me a lot. The expectations for your skills in college are also raised substantially- You never say no to learning a new stunt or tumbling pass.
HC: Do you ever get scared when they throw you up in air? Have you even gotten hurt doing such stunts? If so, what was the most serious one?
Lauren: I’ve had several concussions from stunts and baskets. You have to trust that your body will do the right thing in the air. I love the adrenaline rush, especially on twisting baskets thrown by all boys.
HC: The squad just got back from Nationals this past weekend in Daytona, how was that?
Lauren: Daytona is always an incredible experience. SMU Spirit was recently taken over by Tiffany Fettinger, an SMU cheer alum, and she has done incredible things with the program. It’s fun to show off what we have been working on all year. A week at the beach with your best friends and teammates isn’t so bad, either.
HC: Any chance we’ll see you on the Cowboys field some day?
Lauren: No, Tony Romo’s already married.