Anelisse Peterson

Cheerleader of the week

Anelisse is a junior cheerleader at Stanford University, currently enjoying her third year on the team. Anelisse took a slightly different path than some of the previous cheerleaders we’ve interviewed, but I think it’s safe to say that she’s happy doing what she’s doing, where she’s doing it, with the people she’s doing it with.
And on top of all the traveling she has to do in terms of cheering for the football and basketball teams, Anelisse has to find the time to work towards one of the coolest sounding majors we’ve ever heard of.
Check Gig Harbor’s own Anelisse below.

connect with Stanford University Cheerleaders


  • College:
    Stanford University
  • Age:
  • Year:
  • Graduating Class:
  • Major:
    Product Design Engineering
  • Hometown:
    Gig Harbor, WA





What is Product Design Engineering?
I don’t know if you’re familiar with IDEO or the D School, but basically it involves product design and all the design aspects and teaching design thinking, but combined with the actual engineering knowledge necessary to make those items. It’s a lot of fun.
How long have you been cheering for?
I cheered my freshman and sophomore year of high school and then I decided to take two years off to focus on my academics. That worked out pretty well because now I’m here and I’ve been cheering for three years. Going to Stanford is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I thought there might be chance I could get into a school like this so I thought it was worth it.
Would you say that Stanford athletes are smarter as a whole than other D1 athletes?
I’m not really familiar with other D1 schools, but all of our athletes have to go through our regular admission process before they can join their teams at Stanford, where academics are pretty important. I think that involvement in sports helps since it adds to their experience, but ultimately athletes have to go through the admission process and exhibit intellectual curiosity and a love of learning. Cheer isn’t a recruited sport though, so we have to be admitted before we can even try out.
Tell us about your favorite gameday tradition.
We do something called “The Walk”. Every game day two hours before kickoff, we have the cheerleaders, football team, Axe Committee, band, and Dollies line up outside the locker room. The football team walks out first, and as the band starts to play the Fight Song, we  walk through the tailgate path all the way to the stadium. It’s awesome to be a part of.
What’s your favorite away game that you’ve cheered at.
I went to ASU last year for the Pac-12 Championship and that was the first time I’d ever been in a stadium that really did not want us to be there. It was my first experience where fans weren’t in favor of us winning. It was so exhilarating, such a whirlwind experience.
Favorite restaurant or hot spots?
I really love C.R.E.A.M., a little ice cream sandwich place, and Tamarine which is just a little ways past it!
What will you remember the most after you graduate.
I would definitely have to say the people. Being on the team has given me friendships I would never have had. Outside of the team experience, these people have come to be my best friends at Stanford. It’ll definitely be the people I remember after I’m done cheering here.