First-year Monash law student, Isabelle Kellard has returned home to Melbourne with an added pep in her step after claiming a silver medal in the Allstar World Championships for Cheerleading in Florida, United States.
Earlier this month, Isabelle represented her club, Southern Cross Cheer Legacy and put forward a performance worthy of being crowned second-best in the world in the international open co-ed level 7 non-tumble division.
With the help of Monash’s Elite Student Performer Support program, Isabelle joined her fellow cheerleaders in Orlando two weeks out from the Championships where the team spent every day in the leadup training.
Isabelle says the lineup was bonded by a common desire to show the world what they can do, but the first performance left them feeling a little underwhelmed.
“Day one went alright. We performed okay but placed fifth… I think we had one fall and a bobble… they mark us pretty harshly for that in America compared to Australia,” she says.
“Overall, it wasn’t a bad run, but we were expecting to do a little bit better. After that, we had a day off so we went back into the gym and changed a whole bunch of parts to the routine.”
To have just one performance left to prove yourself after spending more than a fortnight halfway around the globe, nerves were understandably pumping.
But what happened next will be a story Isabelle and her team will always be proud to tell.
“We had to learn that all in a day, it was quite stressful. We hit a much better routine on day two and everything was just more solid and less shaky which is why we ended up placing second,” Isabelle continues.
“The foundational routine was still there but we added a lot of different performance aspects like motions.
“We were all really happy. I remember a couple of us, we came off the stage and we were like, ‘that was such a good routine, I don’t even care if we place well anymore because I’m just so happy we hit a routine that we wanted to do’.”
For a lineup that’s only been together a little over three months, it’s a mighty effort to travel overseas, make changes on the run and pull off the performance of a lifetime on the world stage.
Even more so when you consider Isabelle is in her first year of a Law degree.
When asked about the admittedly rare combination of cheerleading and law, Isabelle seems to have quickly struck a working balance.
“It’s dependent on the time of year. Sometimes cheer will be really demanding and I’ll have to give a little bit less to law school,” she adds.
“Sometimes I'll have a bunch of assignments due at the same time and I’ll have a chat with my coach and say, ‘hey, I can’t do that this weekend because I have this due’.
“It’s all about being flexible and giving the most time to whatever needs it I suppose.”
Congratulations Isabelle for an incredible effort!
If you’re interested in cheerleading, Monash University’s Cheer and Dance club is open to students of all levels. Check out their website to get involved otherwise you can follow them here on Instagram.