Senior cheer captain seeks Seagals spot

Maddy Lucas, Reporter

Senior Karley Kearney, captain of the PHS cheer team, will attempt to make the transformation into a Sea Gal (a Seattle Seahawks cheerleader) this April.

“I decided to try out last summer. My original intention was to try out for a college cheer team but what I didn’t like was that it was mainly based on tumbling or stunting and those weren’t really my strengths,” Kearney said. “I wanted to do something I was good at. All of the dance teams were very technical and it just didn’t interest me.”

Many different skills are needed to become a Sea Gal.

“During the tryout process they look at lot of different things: your dance ability, your showmanship, your appearance and your character,” Kearney said. “Because you are representing the Seahawks, they want somebody with good character representing them.”

A Sea Gal does more than just perform at football games.

“They do a lot of appearances at things and they perform at a lot of shows. They are like public figures,” Kearney said.

Kearney has been doing many different things in preparation for the upcoming tryouts.

“I have been taking a lot of dance classes this year — I have been taking my dance pretty seriously — and they also like girls who are in good physical condition,” Kearney said. “You have to be out there for two hours at a time so you need to have good stamina and be in good shape. Also, I went to a workshop they provide where they teach you choreography, give you little tips about how you should do your makeup, your hair — things appearance wise.”

The first round of tryouts is April 14.

“It starts on a Sunday and there are around 150 to 200 girls trying out — it’s a big group of girls. In groups of three you do a minute freestyle to the music provided by the Sea Gals so that the judge can see people,” Kearney said. “Depending on your freestyle they makes a cut from there, so probably about half make it past the first cut. After that you learn a piece of choreography that you perform the next weekend at tryouts.”

Cecily Kearney, Kearney’s mom, comments on her love of dance at a young age.

“From the time she was three she loved to dance but I gave her a choice on what she would like to do. She said that she wanted to dance and you really couldn’t keep her off the stage. She just wanted to be up there,” Cecily Kearney said.

Cecily Kearney has seen growth in Karley Kearney since those early years.

“She has a lot of drive and energy and is very strong. She is very talented in what she does and competes in hip hop and tap,” Cecily Kearney said. “She has always been very strong in a variety of different dance areas and is a very good performance person.”

Karley Kearney says that her mom has been one her biggest supporters throughout the preparation for tryouts.

“My mom is my biggest fan. She’s the one who’s been really supportive of my dance since I was three. She’s the one who enrolled me in dance classes and she’s at all my dance competitions,” Karley Kearney said. “She’s been really supportive of me trying out for the Sea Gals too. She tries to help me with everything.”

Another one of Karley Kearney’s supporters is her cheer coach, Melissa Harm.

“Karley has a great attitude and is an amazing dancer. She helps the girls out with their routines [during cheer practice]. She dominates any genre she dances for,” Harm said.

Although Harm has only been Karley Kearney’s coach for a year, she has helped Karley Kearney out with preparing for the tryouts.

“This is only my first year having her as a coach but I think she has been very supportive of me dancing. She knows that I am trying out for the Sea Gals as well. She’s been real supportive and there for me when I need it,”Karley Kearney said.

Karley Kearney hopes to make it past the first round.

“It’s been a dream of mine because it’s professional level. It would be really exciting. I don’t know what to expect,” Karley Kearney said. “I may not even make it past the first round but I’m still going 100 percent for it. I would rather go all for it than a little bit.”