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Dance, Dance, Cheer? Check this out!

Including story of Gulfport native who made an NFL cheerleading team.

‘I’ve made it to the big leagues’ … Gulfport native earns spot on NFL cheerleading team

Provided by Jackson WLBT Peyton Stubbs will be dancing along the NFL sidelines this season after being selected to join the New Orleans Saints Cheer Team.

She went from dancing at Kelli’s Steps School of Dance as a little girl to now sashaying her way in the Superdome for thousands of fans.

Gulfport native Peyton Stubbs earned her spot on the NFL sidelines this season after being selected to join the New Orleans Saints Cheer Team.

Peyton said initially, she was apprehensive about trying out. She said she tried out virtually for the team, but due to COVID, the organization decided that they weren’t accepting any new members.

“I didn’t think I was prepared,” said Stubbs. “They announced tryouts in June, and I hadn’t danced in almost a year.” She considered not trying out at all, but with a little convincing from family and friends, Peyton decided to go for it!

“It felt good to dance again,” said Peyton. “Being at the audition in person made me wonder why I was even hesitant about the audition. I didn’t realize how much I missed dancing.”

After making it through the preliminary tryouts, and on to the final audition, Peyton said she remembered her final performance not being her best and walked away feeling defeated.

“Personally, my audition, in my eyes, was awful. That was the worst time I’ve ever performed in my entire life. I knew for a fact that I butchered the entire process,” said Peyton. “Walking away from those tryouts, it didn’t feel like one of those moments where I knew I left it all in the floor. I had no idea where I stood in the selection process.”

Provided by Jackson WLBT Peyton Stubbs will be dancing along the NFL sidelines this season after being selected to join the New Orleans Saints Cheer Team.

“I was sitting there like, this is it,” said Peyton. “When I saw my coach’s name on the email, my heart dropped. When I finally opened the email, I was so excited.”

She got the email that she made the squad, but this year it would be different. The New Orleans Saints are merging the team’s Saintsations cheerleaders with traditional game day cheerleaders to enhance the entertainment aspect. They’re taking a -person crew of cheerleaders, tumblers, and dancers to pump up the crowd.

So excited to be on the Saints cheer team roster! Be sure to check out the rest of the team and our making of the team videos. GO SAINTS!

“Operating cheer has been a big change, but a positive one because people get to see a new aspect of Saint’s game day, said Peyton. “Now, you have dancers on the sideline as well as cheerleaders. So, we’re adding traditional cheer to our game-day atmosphere. It’s been so exciting being on a team with these men and women. The talent that everyone possesses is unreal!”

“It’s completely different than what I was used to, being on a college dance team, said Peyton. “The Dome itself is massive and the fans dance along with you. Just getting to stand on the field was a rush of excitement. It hadn’t hit me yet, but in that moment, I realize that I’ve made it to the big leagues.”

Provided by Jackson WLBT Peyton Stubbs will be dancing along the NFL sidelines this season after being selected to join the New Orleans Saints Cheer Team.

Even though she’s living out her dream, she’s had to make some adjustments in her life. Right now, she’s a graduate student at the University of Southern Mississippi. And when she’s not practicing, she’s maintaining her grades so she can graduate in December.

“I am a graduate assistant, as well as a student. I go to work from – and complete any class assignments when I get home,” said Peyton. “On the days I have practice, I leave as soon as I complete my work because, by the time I get back home, I’m entirely too tired to do anything else,” she said with a laugh.” It’s one of those things that I have to get used to. I’ve never been on a team where I had to leave the city that I’m in, to drive two hours to another state to practice. It has been a little of an adjustment, but it’s worth it.”

“Sometimes it still doesn’t feel real,” said Peyton. “Our past two practices, we were in the Dome and as I walked in, I was just like, I’m here, I’ve made it. I made it, from a little five-year-old in a Biloxi studio, who didn’t know where her dance career was going, if it was ever going anywhere, all the way to being in the Dome, dancing for an NFL team.”

What do you think?

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