Ever wondered what happened to some of your favorite Alouettes cheerleaders? In our “Once a Cheer, Always a Cheer” series, we catch up with our former cheerleaders to see what they’re up to now!
Today, the spotlight is on Julie, who was part of our cheer squad from 2002 to 2010!
What have you been up to since your time with the Alouettes, and where are you now?
During my last year as a cheerleader, in 2010, I started my career as a high school physical education teacher. I have never left the football field since. I pursued my training to become a football coach. I loved this sport before, and I still have a passion for it to this day. I am now the coach of the football program at Armand-Corbeil High School in Terrebonne, where I also teach physical education.
What are some of your best memories as a cheerleader for the Alouettes?
Without hesitation, my best memories are all the laughs and the special moments I shared with my teammates, but I can’t forget about my first Grey Cup. It was my very first trip with the team, my first Cheer Extravaganza (a show during the Grey Cup weekend where cheer teams from across the league come together to perform their choreographed routines), my first Grey Cup parade. It was my first time seeing the magnitude of the buzz and the excitement around Canadian football. During that game, I saw an onside kick for the very first time…a beautifully executed kick from our Alouettes, of course! I had the opportunity to participate in the parade in the streets of Montreal and feel all the love that the people of our province had for our team. I consider myself very lucky to have had the chance to experience such beautiful moments.
What’s your funniest anecdote?
I once executed a full choreography with a pompom stuck on my belly button ring. The pompom had gotten stuck at the very beginning of the song, and I only managed to get it off less than ten seconds before the end of our routine. I still remember the few fans who talked about it to me after the game! What were the odds of that happening? I have to admit that I was slightly embarrassed at the time, but I laugh about it now. It’s a funny story to tell.
What’s a lesson you learned during your time with the Alouettes?
I was young when I first started with the Alouettes. I was 18 years old. All I knew back then was my little town. With the Alouettes, I quickly got to see and experience a lot. We visited sick children in hospitals, went to day camps to entertain people with mental and cognitive disabilities, worked with the Breakfast Club and visited dozens of schools. We had the chance to go on trips for the Grey Cups, to shoot the calendar, to go visit the Canadian troops, and more! We also appeared on TV multiple times. All these experiences allowed me to discover the difference facets of our society and of our province…and to respect them. I could live a “jet-set” experience one day and face pain and obstacles the next day. I realized that we must learn to better understand the members of our society, as well as the different spheres that make up our society, to be better equipped to help and assist those around us.