LIMA — Cheerleaders at Perry schools received a special visit from the Cleveland Cavaliers’ “Scream Team” on Sunday, thanks to a Lima native who works for the organization.
Emily Smith, a Perry High School graduate who is now the director of entertainment for the Cavaliers, organized the event as a way to give back to the community.
“We’ve been making our circuit around the state, supporting cheerleaders and dancers by giving them encouragement and getting them ready for their fair competitions,” Smith said. “I grew up in Perry, so it’s just great to be back here.”
The Scream Team, which is a group of dancers who perform dance moves, tumbling and break-dance stunts at Cavalier home games, taught the school district’s cheerleaders a dance routine, and gave them tips on how they can improve their skills.
“We want to talk to them about performance quality, and always being confident out there because that’s so important,” Smith said. “Also, helping them clean up their routines and making sure they’re show-ready.”
The instruction couldn’t have come at a better time for first-year cheerleading coach Heather Smith, who is preparing her cheerleaders for a competition at the Allen County Fair.
“I think it will help,” said Heather Smith, who coaches Perry’s seventh- through 12th-grade cheerleaders. “When [Emily Smith] called and said she wanted to come out, I just jumped at the opportunity. It’s an exciting thing.”
Heather Smith called the entertainers “positive role models” whom her cheerleaders can look up to. She also acknowledged Emily Smith as someone the girls can aspire to be.
“The fact that she’s a Perry grad — it’s neat for them to see life after high school and the jobs they might get that they never dreamed of,” Heather Smith said, referring to Emily Smith’s rise to becoming director of entertainment for a professional basketball team.
After the meet-and-greet/instructional session, the entertainers performed at the Auglaize County Fair, and met with other cheerleaders and dancers in the area.
“We’re bringing the Cavs experience to the fair,” Emily Smith said.
The Perry cheerleaders will compete at 1 p.m. Aug. 21 at the Allen County Fair.
Reach John Bush at 567-242-0456 or on Twitter @bush_lima.