Cheerleader of the week

“I’ve wanted to be a novelist since I was little,” says MaCall, who certainly has a name that’ll look great in hardback.
MaCall also has the determination that it takes to be successful, even though the UCLA junior is also open to the occasional distraction. MaCall has taken a surprising path to leading cheers for one of America’s favorite college football teams.
She’ll be cheering on the Bruins as they take on the Colorado Buffalos away this Saturday, but we’re sure MaCall will be sending good vibes their way.

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Did you graduate from high school with plans for being a college cheerleader?
Well, one thing that’s unique about my experience is that I come from homeschooling. I went to a regular high school for my freshman and sophomore years, but then dropped out to be at home for my junior and senior years. I lost touch with the idea of having a bond with your school, and even having school colors or just a school mascot.
So you auditioned without ever having cheered for a team?
I had been part of a company doing jazz and performing in non-school competitions. The cheering was actually easier, because the dancing is very unified–but I had never picked up a pair of pom-poms in my life. I didn’t know what they were. I was used to taking a song and using interpretive dance to tell a story. I would be on a stage looking out at an audience. Now I’m cheering at the Rose Bowl with an audience all around us.
It sounds like your college experience wasn’t really what you expected.
I’m an English major, and I really spent my entire high-school career planning to go to a private liberal arts college. I’d been accepted into schools like Vassar and NYU, and really thought that was the route that I was going to go. I had made the UCLA dance team before I really decided on my college, and I began to realize that a big school with a sports team could mean more to me than I thought it would. I was ready to be part of something bigger.
Are you surprised at how well that’s worked out?
I guess I’m a little surprised, but I went into this ready to make UCLA my school. I joined the sprit squad right when I got to college, and that’s given me a really intense connection to everything here. Looking back, I know that I’ll have the same memories that everyone has of being on the field and representing the school, and looking up to the students section and seeing my friends there. My path has created a unique perspective and is different than my teammates.