Meet Heidi, one of our rockin’ pro cheerleader-turned-scientist, here shake up stereotypes and inspire young women to consider careers in science, technology, engineering, and math.
Heidi is a former Kansas City Chiefs cheerleader with more than a passing interest in sports science. Come meet Heidi in Washington, D.C. at the USA Science and Engineering Festival 10/23-10/24, where the Science Cheerleaders will perform science-themed routines and talk to festival-goers about…careers in science and engineering of course! Check it out!
SciCheer: Hey Heidi! Thanks for joining us. Please tell us when/how you first became interested in science.
Heidi: I was interested in Science at a young age because my father was a chemist!
SciCheer: What degree did you earned?
Heidi: I earned my Bachelors of Sports and Exercise Science from the University of Kansas, as well as being a Certified Personal Trainer and Group Instructor.
SciCheer: Cool. So, what do you do?
Heidi: I am the Marketing Coordinator for a Spine and Pain Management Practice, as well as run my own Personal Training Business (Get Heidi Fit) I also teach fitness classes in the area, including Boot Camp & Hip Hop Aerobics Class
SciCheer: Can you describe a “typical” day at work or school?
Heidi: My day begins with working with physicians and nurses in the clinic, observing procedures, setting up meetings and events, generating marketing plans and strategies, visiting doctors offices, and basically being the face of my company. In the evening, I hit the gym and teach my fitness classes and/or train my personal training clients! Then, it’s either off to bed to start the day again or get my own workout in.
SciCheer: Which team did you cheer for and when?
Heidi: University of Kansas 1999-2003; Kansas City Chiefs 2004-2009
SciCheer: So, which came first: your interest in cheerleading or your interest in science?
Heidi: My interest in science. In school, biology and chemistry were always interesting to me. Plus, it helped that I did well in those classes 🙂
SciCheer: How did your fellow cheerleaders accept your interest in science?
Heidi: They were very supportive. There are many cheerleaders that are involved in science!
SciCheer: What are your plans for the future?
Heidi: I plan on continueing my career in healthcare, and also my personal training business. Hopefully, one day opening a Health & Wellness Center of my own.
SciCheer: Best cheerleading experience?
Heidi: Performing and meeting our U.S. troops across the country and all over the world. The men and women I met are true heroes and I will never forget the experiences and memories I made during those trips.
SciCheer: Favorite and least favorite courses you took to prepare for your work?
Heidi: Learning how to draw blood and put in IVs.
SciCheer: More exhilarating: positive experimental results or nailing a cheer move?
Heidi: Most exhilarating was learning to do a double full basket for the first time. Most stressful moment was having to learn how to do a double turn AT AUDITIONS!
SciCheer: Do you feel your work as a professional cheerleader helped or hindered your career? (please elaborate)
Heidi: My work and experience as a pro-cheerleader has helped my career. Not only in the area of being a professional, but communication skills, public speaking, organization, time management, and being inspired and touched by all the people that I’ve met throughout the entire experience.
SciCheer: Do you have any advice for youngsters who might feel torn between following one dream associated with beauty or physique (like cheerleading) and pursuing a science and engineering career usually associated with, well, geeks?
Heidi: My advice is to follow YOUR dreams. There is nothing more beautiful than intelligence and confidence. They say Brains and Beauty are a great combination, and I agree.