From across the globe, we got in touch with Melissa Eaton who is living her dream working and performing over in London, England and loving every second of it.
Mel – I have always had a great love and passion for dancing and performing so when the opportunity came to audition for an NRL cheer squad I went for it! I was a Cheerleader for the Canterbury-Bankstown bulldogs from 2011 – early 2013 when I moved to London. I absolutely loved cheering for the Bulldogs and this definitely ignited my spark for my love of cheerleading. NRL style Cheerleading is not very big in the UK so I never expected to move over here and have the opportunity to join a squad. When The London Cheerleader auditions were mentioned to me by a friend and I was so excited at the thought of continuing my love and passion in the UK! Myself and another lovely girl Bianca are now the oldest Veterans and have been with TLC since their first audition at the end of 2013.
JLD – GAME WEEK, TRAINING, REHEARSALS
Mel – We rehearse every Tuesday evening and depending on how many gigs we have that week or how big the event is we may also rehearse on Thursdays. Every event we do is different which makes it very exciting! One of the regular events that we have over summer is at the Northants Cricket. Game day consists of us meeting at a London station and catching the train up to Northampton together as a sqaud. When we arrive at the grounds we have a pitch rehearsal and when the gates open we head out to sell raffle tickets, take selfies, run competitions and greet the crowd. We then perform 2 dances pre-game and 1 half time which is usually our Kick-line. At the cricket we also perform sideline dances on a small stage under the scoreboard, this is always great fun! Game days are different for each event, but there is always an air of excitement as we look forward to performing and contributing to the amazing atmosphere at sporting events!
JLD – What motivates and inspires you?
Mel – My family and friends definitely motivate and inspire me every day. I have such an amazing support system that I am so very thankful for. I am so proud of the people I call my friends and what they have achieved in their own lives, and that definitely inspires and motivates me to keep pushing and to follow my dreams to reach my own goals. I am a very passionate person and am so motivated to continue to push myself to get further and do better. I moved to London with goals and they only keep growing, I have my amazing support system to thank for that.
JLD – What is the best thing about being part of a cheer sqaud?
Mel – The list is endless! There is nothing like being a part of a squad! With training every week, working together, travelling to gigs together, going away together, you spend so much time with one another that you become so close and everyone is so supportive, there is just nothing like it! I love the connections you form when performing with the same group, you develop such strong bonds and it really does become a little extended dance and cheer family. I love performing with these girls and look forward to every gig we do together.
JLD – What are some of your game day tips?
Mel – My biggest tip would be to be prepared. I usually tan 2 days before and swear by St Tropez and Sally Hansen to touch up on game day. I also swear by lashes! Always bring spares of tights/stockings and make-up to touch up. Make sure to stay hydrated and have enough food/snacks to carry you through the day/night. Another tip is to always stay smiling and be aware and on guard, you never know when a photo is being taken! You should also make sure to take some time to stretch and warm up before performing. Oh and most importantly, have fun and enjoy every second!!
JLD – what event or game has been one to remember?
Mel – Since moving to London and working for The London Cheerleaders my memorable experiences at different events and games has been endless, including performing at a Manchester Utd vs Cambridge Utd Football Game, I have never experienced a crowd like it! But the one that stands out the most was performing to a full house at Twickenham Stadium for a Wallabies vs Barbarians Rugby Game. I was honoured with the role of group leader for one of the sideline groups which was an absolutely amazing exhilarating experience.
JLD – Interests outside of cheerleading?
Mel – Outside of Cheerleading and dance, I also have a great interest and love for acting and working on set in the TV/Film industry. I hope to continue to explore my passion and interest in this field! I also have a great interest and passion for fitness and nutrition and am looking to further this career path when I eventually move back to Aus! I also have a great interest in travelling and seeing the world, and still have so many places left I want to visit and explore