Sindy Arzate readjusts to cheerleading as events resume

Sindy+Arzate%2C+20%2C+is+excited+for+spectators+to+see+her+team+blow+away+the+audience+with+stunts.+She+adjusts+to+returning+to+cheerleading+after+a+year+of+remote+learning.+Photo+credit%3A+Courtesy+of+Sindy+Arzate

Sindy Arzate, 20, is excited for spectators to see her team blow away the audience with stunts. She adjusts to returning to cheerleading after a year of remote learning. Photo credit: Courtesy of Sindy Arzate

Fatima Durrani, Staff Writer

“I have been cheerleading since I was 10 years old,” said Sindy Arzate, a cheerleader for Cerritos College. “ My journey has not been easy but definitely worth it. I have not only grown mentally but physically, and made many lifelong friendships on the way.”

The pandemic has negatively affected all athletic departments, as they had to adjust to COVID-19 safety protocols during practice or conducted exercises virtually.

The behavioral science major said in-person practices for cheer did not start until this summer, almost a year after she joined the team.

“COVID-19 definitely impacted cheerleading,” Arzate said as she describes how she and her team members felt a lack of motivation.

“After coming back from the pandemic I did see a difference in my practice physically,” said Arzate.

The cheerleader said it was difficult to switch from a lifestyle of doing homework online and working out once a week, to working out nonstop for cheer.

“Working out nearly every day, for around three hours, really tired my body out,” she said. “It also affected me mentally, because in cheerleading you have to memorize many fast-paced moves, from over 30 cheers, dances and workouts.”

“Hopefully as time passes we’re able to do stunts, and be able to surprise our spectators with amazing and incredible stunts,” Arzate said.

Arzate described her cheerleading experience in the pandemic to be overwhelming, after being unable to perform or practice for a year.

“I believe the hardest part of cheering is definitely stunting,” she said. “Stunting consists of many skills which allows our bases to lift girls in the air creating different transitions and adding a wow factor to cheerleading.”

COVID-19 drastically affected cheerleading because viewers were not able to see the special stunts cheerleaders like Arzate were working on with her uniformed team.

“We have not been able to stunt which saddens us,” said Arzate. “We are not able to give our viewers that type of excitement and suspense.”

Arzate described how cheerleading is a unique sport because there’s many different aspects involved such as being in a perfect uniform, maintaining an energetic persona and adding to the enjoyment of games.

“Being glammed up in a competitive sport is not seen as much which makes us different because many see our performances, but not what goes on before and after we’re on the field,” Arzate said.

Despite the troubles of the pandemic, the cheerleader said she’s been left with amazing memories, and that everything she went through physically and mentally was worth it.

“During that moment, every little struggle, all the blood, sweat and tears came to my mind and overjoyed me with how grateful I was to be there and be part of that cheerleading team,” Arzate said, referring to an unforgettable memory during cheerleading.

Arzate looks forward to more memories and moments where she can amaze the crowd with a team she’s created lifelong friendships with.