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Saturday, March 08, 2008

From the Class to the Court: a Honeybee Tells All 

Posted by James at 11:47 AM ET

BY Paul Buras
The Nichols Worth
Krista, an NBA cheerleader for the New Orleans Honeybees, is also a full-time student at Nicholls majoring in elementary education.

Krista found a love for dancing at five-years-old and has been dancing for about 15 years. She got her start at recitals and in the living room of her home. She said her mom was her first supporting fan. Krista said she can remember dancing in the living room for her mom.

"My mom was the number one person to support me. She would let me know if I performed my dance moves correctly," Krista said.
Krista, New Orleans Honeybees

As part of the dance team at Hahnville High School, Krista performed at football games, basketball games and pep rallies. In high school she attended American All-Stars dance camp, a program for cheerleaders.

"The best part in high school was going to camp, learning the dances for the season and meeting girls from different schools," Krista said.

The Honeybee is a Houma native, but lived most of her life in Luling. She has four sisters and one brother.

Last year Krista heard about the auditions through the Internet and from a current Honeybee. So she decided to tryout. Krista said there were two cuts to become a finalist and an interview was conducted if someone made it past those two cuts.

"The last days of tryouts were held at Generations Hall in New Orleans. The tryouts were tough and tiring, but we handled it well," Krista said.

As a cheerleader, Krista can be a role model for younger girls. Twice a season, the cheerleaders sponsor a junior Honeybee clinic.

Girls come from all areas of Louisiana to learn a few dances and to have fun. The Honeybees show them the importance of working together as a team, and when all the hard work is done, the juniors get to show their stuff at a Hornets game.

"I love interacting with the younger girls and helping them become good cheerleaders, and watching the excitement in their faces brings a great feeling," Krista said.

Krista said she is happy the Hornets are back in New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina. Much like the New Orleans Saints, the Hornets are helping keep the spirit of New Orleans alive and well.

She said she loves being a cheerleader and works hard balancing her school schedule.

Most of her time is spent behind the steering wheel driving to New Orleans several times a week for practice and then back to Thibodaux for class. Krista has classes every day and has practice many times a week. She said she rarely has time to spend with her family.

"I spend so much time with the cheerleaders, they are like family," Krista said with a chuckle.

Krista said being a cheerleader takes hard work and determination. A good work ethic and motivation are important attributes as well.

"Being outgoing and a great personality are important in being a cheerleader," Krista said. "All the girls work really hard, and we all love what we do. It is nice being around people who all love doing the same thing."
Krista, New Orleans Honeybees
Krista said she feels like cheerleading has helped shape and mold her life.

"Cheerleading has helped me establish a good work ethic and has given me the confidence and discipline to face life's challenges," Krista said.

Being a cheerleader for the Hornets has given her the opportunity to meet different people and to experience life from a different perspective. Recently, the All-Star Break was hosted in the Big Easy, which helped give the city an economic boost. Krista said it was a busy four days, and all the girls worked really hard but had a great time meeting different people.

"I got to meet Chris Tucker from my favorite movie 'Rush Hour' and Arnold Schwarzenegger," Krista said. " We also posed for a picture with Alyssa Milano from the television show 'Charmed.'"

Krista said she enjoys coming to school at Nicholls and really likes the hometown feel. This is her second semester here.

When she is not studying or learning new dance moves, she is spending time with her family. Some places she and her family like to visit are the Aquarium of the Americas and the Audubon Zoo. She enjoys eating beignets at Café du Monde and fishing. Krista said she loves working out at the gym and keeping up her tan at the salon. Her favorite Hornets player is Chris Paul.

Krista said she hopes the Hornets win the NBA championship this season and next season they will still be in New Orleans because the games are fun and family-oriented.

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