The bond shared between the members of the Chiefs Cheerleading squad is unbreakable, the memories formed are unforgettable and the friendships made are unmatched. Recently, the Chiefs hosted the annual Chiefs Cheerleaders Alumni Weekend. Women who cheered in the 60’s to those who just recently retired their pompoms, all reunited at 1 Arrowhead Drive to reminisce on the days they wore the Chiefs cheerleading uniform.
To begin the alumni weekend the cheerleaders participated in a tour of the stadium and for some, it was an entirely new experience.
“We kicked off our weekend on Friday evening with a tour of Arrowhead,” Stephanie Judah, Director of Chiefs Cheerleaders, said. “So many of our alumni have not been back since the renovations, so it is awesome to see their reactions, as well as hear them share their memories.”
Many of the alumni were shocked and a bit jealous of the girls’ new home.
“I toured the stadium on Friday night and it was amazing and jaw-dropping,” alumni cheerleader, Cara commented. “I’m very jealous that the girls now get their own locker room with running water!”
Not only were the alumni impressed with the new facilities but the current cheerleaders were in awe of some of the alumni’s stories. After the tour, the alumni were invited to the current cheerleaders’ practice and shared their memories of when they represented the Chiefs.
“We finished the practice with ‘Circle Up’ where we grouped everyone by the decades they cheered for the Chiefs,” Judah explained. “We had alumni from the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’ and 2000’s. Each alumni shared one special moment of when they were on the team and brought a photo of them cheering. Talk about history! These are the people that paved the way for our current team and we were so honored to have them with us.”
Current cheerleaders were excited and inspired to hear from those who had gone before them.
“It was exciting and heartwarming to hear everyone share stories from the past,” fourth-year Chiefs cheerleader, Summer noted. “Listening to alumni talk about their experiences from the 60s - 90s, is intriguing to me. They bring pieces of Chiefs history back to life. Some who cheered together have not seen each other in many years. But despite how much time has passed, their friendships and memories together haven't faded.”
For some, their friendships are still as strong as ever.
“There are still nine of us that get together once a month to hang out,” Cara said. “We call our group the ‘Chiefs Cheerleaders Circle of Friends’ (CC COF). It’s funny because even some of the girls who cheered after me, who I have met through other cheerleaders are dear friends. It really is a sisterhood.”
Those who are experiencing their first year as a Chiefs cheerleader have recognized the sisterhood and cherish it.
“From day one I have been embraced and loved by not only each and every girl on the team but also each and every staff member,” first-year Kassi explained. “It's not often that you find 33 girls who strive for the same morals and standards you strive for. This in turn creates a bond of women who learn that they will have a support system of 33.”
This strong, unbreakable bond between the women has been seen throughout the years and is unique to every squad. Alumni weekend brought women together to relish in that special bond, some who hadn’t seen each other in 40 years.
“The weekend began at the Chiefs team store, where we met for the stadium tour” alumni cheerleader, Elaine recalled. “I saw Stephanie (Judah) and spoke to her and then I suddenly realized that standing next to her was Teri, who I cheered with in 1972 and 1973. It had been 40 years and it seemed like all those memories came flooding back! Of course, I cried…That sister bond you have on the team is what sticks with you even more than the glamour of performing in front of the most awesome audience in the world.”
Many of the girls would agree; it is about the sisterhood and the bonds that are formed that truly make an impact on the rest of your life, even 40 years later.
“It was so exciting and unbelievable to see Elaine, who I hadn’t seen in 40 years,” alumni cheerleader, Teri explained. “When you haven’t seen someone for so long, it is truly exciting. Reuniting after 40 years, we’re right back where we started.”
Teri and Elaine are examples of how the sisterhood can last forever and can be rekindled after so many years apart.
“Even though it’s a lot of hard work and you have to make some sacrifices, it is so worth it,” Teri said. “Being a part of the Chiefs organization is truly something that is well worth the effort. The people that you meet and the friends that you make is a huge part of it. It becomes a family. I would do it over again anytime.”
From a current Chiefs cheerleader to a cheerleader from 40 years ago, they both agree, “Once a Chiefs cheerleader, always a Chiefs cheerleader.”