Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Cheerleader Says "Bring It On!", Parents Not So Spirited

Dear Tazi:

Have you ever seen the movie Bring It On? That could be the story of my life! I live, eat, sleep, and breathe cheerleading! I started with lessons when I was only 3 and have been on a squad since I was 7. I love cheerleading! It is all that I want to do with my life. My goal is to cheer professionally for the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders. I cannot try out for them until I am 18, but I have been practicing really hard, and have the opportunity to go to a training camp where I can learn their moves and other ways to improve my chances of making it onto their squad. The problem is the cost: $300 per week, not including the cost of travel. I would like to attend for the entire summer program next year, bringing the cost to over $3,000.

I would like to use the money my parents have put in my college education fund to pay for cheer training camp. I figure if I make the Dallas squad I will not have time to go to college anyway, so why leave the money sitting there? I think using it for cheer training would be a much better use for it. As you have probably already guessed, my parents are firmly against this plan. I don’t think they are being fair. It is MY future; shouldn’t I get to decide what I want to do with it?

Future D.C.B.C.L.

Dear Future D.C.B.C.L.

You do not say how old you are, but from the tone of your letter I will guess that you are a teenager. This means that your parents are legally responsible for you and that the decisions they make must be made with your best interests in mind. I realize that you understand the difficulty in making it onto a professional cheering squad; otherwise you would not be seeking such expensive, specialized training. Please tell me, what do you plan on doing for a living if you do not get picked for a professional cheering squad? This is what your parents are considering, and why they have set aside money to pay for your college education and not cheer camp.

$3,000 is a lot of money to invest in a dream, and you are essentially asking somebody else to pay for it. I will suggest a compromise that I think is fair to both you and your parents:

You must:

Be willing to work a part-time job to pay for at least 50% of this special cheer training camp (your parents can decide what percentage they would be willing to pay, and 0% is an acceptable answer).

Keep your school grades at or above the level you have them at now.

Agree to at least try college, to see if you like it and to work towards a degree as a back-up plan should a cheerleading position not come through right away (a community college would be the perfect place to start, as the costs are lower than a traditional college and the scheduling more flexible).

Your parents must:

Be supportive of your dream, as it appears they have been in the past, so long as you stick to your end of the bargain.

Accept your decision with regards to continuing your education, if after one year you decide you do not wish to continue

As you can see, the onus is on you to follow through with the tough stuff – planning and working towards a successful future, complete with a Plan B should things not go as planned, regardless of how talented you are. Football players are not the only ones who can suffer career-ending injuries.


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

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