Monday, December 29, 2008
Indiana Pacemate Seazun is a big fan of the blog and a wonderful representative of Pro Cheerleading. She has cheered in the NFL (five seasons with the Ben-Gals, two with the Colts) and NBA (in her second season). She was on the sidelines for the both the Pro Bowl (Ben-Gals) and Super Bowl (Colts), and represented the Colts in the NFL Cheerleader Playoffs in 2006.
In this holiday time, it seems appropriate to provide some "Seazun's Greetings." Seazun was kind enough to send me photos from a holiday photo shoot with her snow dogs and participate in a Q&A. All her doggies cooperated with the photo shoot, with the exception of Stormy, who, within her rights as a diva, didn't want to participate in the festivities. Stormy's the oldest and grew bored with the photo shoot.
Midwest Dave: Seazun, your first name is quite unique, what is its origin?
Seazun: I had to ask my mother for insight on this one. She said that during her pregnancy, she carried me through all four seasons and that each of those seasons brought her a unique and wonderful experience. As for the spelling, she simply said, "I spelled it the way you pronounce it." I also have Cherokee Indian descent in my family. To my family, "Seazun" symbolizes a free spirit.
MWD: What things really put you into the Holiday spirit?
Seazun: Watching those around me get excited about the holiday really puts me in the Holiday Spirit. I love to hear stories from others about what they are doing for Christmas especially if they have been relocated and get to travel home to be with their loved ones.
MWD: Is there one gift you remember receiving during the Holidays as a child that you still remember as the best present ever?
Seazun: There are so many! If I had to narrow it down to one, it would be my Nintendo. I loved Super Mario Brothers.
MWD: When did you first perform in front of an audience and get hooked on entertaining?
Seazun: Well, it was not on a grand stage or in a dance studio. I first performed in front of my family during a holiday get together. I choreographed a short dance to Paula Abdul's "Straight Up" in my grandparent's living room. I was a shy little girl so my family was shocked that I wasn't afraid to dance in front of everyone. That's when I realized dance and entertainment could help me come out of my shell.
MWD: You have cheered for three teams and it is a big part of your life. What is special to you about pro sports dance squads compared to other types of dance or activities?
Seazun: The atmosphere in a sports arena is almost indescribable. Performing in front of thousands of fans creates an energy that makes your heart race and brings out the best in you as a dancer. Whether it's cheering on turf in front of 65,000 fans or dancing on a court in a more intimate setting, the energy from the crowd and love for dance feeds your soul.
MWD: What has being in pro sports dance added to your life?
Seazun: Dancing for professional sports teams has helped to add just that…LIFE. I feel blessed to have been given the opportunity to dance for Pro Sports teams. I have met the most incredible women and have learned so much from them. I hope in return, I have made a positive impact on their lives. These ladies bring beauty, talent, compassion, and professionalism to the overall Pro Sports experience.
MWD: What do you look for in a young dancer that makes you think they will be a successful Pro Cheerleader?
Seazun: You can see it their eyes and charisma. They never give up on difficult choreography and choose to use that perseverance in all aspects of their lives.
MWD: In the last game of your first season of cheering with the Ben-Gals, you were in a bad accident on the sidelines involving the camera truck that travels the sidelines. What are your memories of that winter and how you recovered, and then your memories of that first return to the sidelines?
Seazun: That was one of the most traumatic experiences of my life. I remember lying on the ground at Paul Brown Stadium looking up at my girls as they were holding my hand and telling me that I was going to be okay. I sustained a torn PCL, fractured knee cap, and broken ankle. I was thankful that the Cincinnati Bengals Organization took care of my medical needs and referred me to the best orthopedic surgeon. The recovery time that winter felt like years. I could not bear weight on my leg for 4 months. I was uncertain if I could ever dance again and had to take time off of school. As you can imagine, I was scared and had to rely on family and friends to assure me that I was strong enough to dance again and to finish my degree. After prayers and physical therapy, I was on my feet dancing stronger than ever. My first game back was such a relief. The best part about my return was that the fans remembered what had happened and acknowledged that I was back on the field dancing again. I went on to earn my degree in Social Work and Human Services.
Seazun with most of the pack
MWD: One of the interesting things about you is your love of your family of snow dogs. What about these breeds draws you to them and makes them perfect for you?
Seazun: I have a family of four snow dogs. One Siberian Husky named Nali, two Samoyeds named Trooper and Lexi, and a Siberian Chow mix named Stormy. Their free spirited nature and beauty captured my attention at a young age. I started raising them when I was 18. Stormy was my first and she is still going strong. They are a symbol of leadership and are pack oriented which means they love being a part of the family. Well mannered breed, but love to get into trouble when you're not around. They are too smart to sit around all day. I try to keep them entertained, but the best activity for them is exercise. They love running in the back yard. I love their independence and cherish each of their personality traits. Did I mention they keep me really warm at night? They love sleeping with me.
Seazun with Nali
MWD: Many of us want to help out those less fortunate during this time of year. In your experience in social work, what kinds of things can we do or what groups can we support that really can make a difference?
Seazun: There are so many ways we can help. The first way is being aware of the programs that have been implemented to assist those in need. Each of us holds something near to our heart that we would like to help with. Do the research and lend a hand. In my profession, I serve those who have been diagnosed with a developmental disability. I have learned that out of all the services and resources I could provide for them, they benefit most from "you" just being there. Your presence means more to someone in need than anything. I encourage all of us to research local charities and volunteer groups to see how we can help.
Seazun with Trooper
Thanks so much to Seazun for all her help, and thanks to all of the Cheerleaders, directors, and blog contributors for all of their hard work in 2008. Happy Holidays!