Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Cheerleader Cate

I know some of my family is saying - FINALLY! -because I keep promising them the pictures of Cate's first cheerleading performance and today I'm actually going to deliver.  The problem was that I'm a terrible photographer.  I have a cool camera and I have a good technique for taking portraits or other pic of the girls - I take 300 pictures so that I get 5-10 decent shots and 1 - 2 excellent shots by complete accident.  Unfortunately the light in the gym the day of the cheerleading performance was horrible and I have no idea how to handle that when it happens.  I used different settings on my camera some of which fixed the lighting issue but I didn't realized until I got the pictures on the computer that almost every image was blurry.  I finally took the time to sort through the 100 horrible pictures to find just a few that are worth posting.

I don't think I ever explained this cheerleading thing so I'll start with that.  Back in August Cate joined an adaptive cheerleading squad very close to our house.  It is a competitive squad that is made up of 18 girls (and a couple boys) from 6 to 18 years old.  They learn a full 2.5 minute routine that includes two cheers, a dance, a tumbling run and two stunts.  They practice one hour a week and the hope is that we will compete in two or three competitions against other special needs squads.  Each participant has an assigned buddy who provides one on one assistance during practice and during competition if needed.  Mostly the buddies try to sit in front to provide prompts during the dance and cheer parts of the routine but they can be right next to them if the kids need extra help, they also support the formations.   The kids have already worked so hard to learn this routine and it is really starting to come together.  A couple weeks ago the team did an exhibition with the other cheerleading squads in this organization for parents and friends.  Cate loved watching the teenager fly into the air and dance but she really just wanted to perform.  She is front and center in a couple parts of the routine and loves that!  She is also the highest point of the first formation and she can stand rock solid if she wants too.  This performance was also the first time I saw Cate in her full uniform.  I admit to tears threatening.  I was a cheerleader for all of high school.  I really figured this was one of those things I wouldn't see my daughter do when she was born almost 7 years ago.  How wrong I was - not only is she an adorable cheerleader, she LOVES it.   And how could you not be totally captivated by this much cuteness?

Cate and her Buddy

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