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Russellville hosts mini cheer clinic

Russellville High School cheerleaders had plenty of pep to go around for Jan. 17’s basketball games, as 86 additional mini cheerleaders anxiously awaited to join them.

At Russellville’s mini cheer clinic, girls in Pre-K through sixth grade learned basic stunting, cheer motions and a cheer and dance they performed at halftime of the girls basketball game Friday night.

“I love seeing all of the little girls react when they see us,” said Russellville High School cheerleading co-captain Kaydee Holland. “They just get so happy and love being here.”

Russellville cheerleading head coach Stephanie Mayfield said when she was choosing a date for the clinic, it was also no coincidence the mini cheer clinic performance fell on a big area game.

“We played Jasper that night, which is a big game for both teams,” Mayfield said. “Whenever the mini cheer clinic performance is, that is so many more parents and kids there to help cheer on the teams. We want to pack the gym when we play Jasper, and the cheer performance is a nice way to get fans there.”

The cheer clinic is held twice a year, once during basketball season and once during football season. Mayfield said the clinic is a fundraiser for cheerleading, but it is also a recruitment tool to keep young girls interested in cheerleading.

Holland said although the cheerleaders switch up which age they work with, the relationships formed during each clinic are long lasting.

“I’ve switched up grades I work with sometimes, but the girls I had other years will still come up and give me a big hug because they remember me,” Holland said.

For each clinic, each age division learns different cheers but the same group dance. This year’s group dance was choreographed by Russellville High School cheerleading co-captain Destiny Hatton.

“Dance is my passion, so I love getting to choreograph things like this or for the varsity and JV squad,” Hatton said.

Hatton said she is excited for the clinic next year and the chance to continue to share the love of cheerleading.