Jennifer is a base for Ultimate Athletics Sovereignty International Coed 5 in Wauconda, Illinois. Jennifer was a gymnast from age 3 to 13, when she switched over to competitive cheerleading. Burke competed at Worlds 2013 with Ultimate Athletics’ small coed team "Aces." She has won numerous national titles along with being recognized as a "Rising Star" in The Cheer Leader Magazine. Burke was a guest star on “The Secret Diary of an American Cheerleader.”
Blog 2: What I Did This Season
It has been a crazy cheer season for me so far! I started last summer cheering with Ultimate Athletics Sovereignty, a new International Coed Level 5 team from Wauconda, IL. We had a great time with team bonding activities, learning new stunts and skills, and I couldn't wait to compete! My team was full of athletes with so much talent and experience. I was one of the youngest on the team, and some of my former cheer coaches were on the team with me. I also cheered for football season at my school, Hampshire High School in Hampshire, IL. Home of the Whip-Purs! What's a Whip-Pur? We get that all the time. It is the school colors, white (whi) and purple (pur). It is a type of panther/cat looking mascot. It was a great football season and the Whips made the playoffs. It was great spending time with my school friends and getting the crowd cheering for the players.
After months of choreography and working with our awesome coaches Dana and Jared, "UA SovT" I was ready to hit the floor. I competed with Sovereignty the first three competitions of the season. At the Nation's Choice competition in December, we won a partial paid bid to Worlds! Everything was going great, and what I was looking forward to most was Worlds! Then my world was suddenly turned upside down.
I found out in December that my family was definitely leaving from the Chicago suburbs where I had lived my whole life. We bought a house in Cave Creek, AZ. Within a month, I had to leave my school, my gym, my friends and everything I knew. What I was looking forward to most was finding a new cheer family at school and at the gym. My school and cheer friends gave me wonderful going away parties and tons of handmade gifts that I have hanging up in a special place in my bedroom in Arizona. I miss them, but am lucky to be able to stay in touch through texts and social media.
I was able to fly back to Illinois last weekend to see my high school compete at the state competition! They placed 9th in the Medium Varsity division. It was such an honor to be there and I was so proud of the Lady Whip-purs! Many of my friends from the Ultimate Athletics Majesties quarter season team were also at the high school state competition. My best friend and cousin Mucia Burke is a flyer for Conant High School, the 1st place winners of the Coed division! Seeing my friends compete and do so well made me anxious to get back to Arizona and start cheering with my new school and a new gym.
I have practiced a couple of times at Desert Storm Elite gym in Scottsdale, AZ. They have been so welcoming to me, and they have terrific talent, especially on their level 5 teams, Rage and Bliss. My high school team, the Cactus Shadows High School Falcons, won 1st place at the Arizona state competition last week in the Super Varsity division. Cactus Shadows Spiritline has won state 8 out of the last 9 years. Many of the girls on cheer are new school friends, and they have made me feel right at home in Cave Creek, AZ.
I am looking forward to finishing unpacking and settling in to my new school, new city, and new life. I am most looking forward to getting back in the gym tumbling and stunting. Worlds is coming up, and I hope to be there competing and see y'all!
Blog 1: What I Did This Summer
I cannot believe summer is already over! Now that school’s back in session, I miss it that much more. Compared to my past, this was definitely the greatest summer I’ve ever had, from traveling across the country to those late night practices. During the day, I would spend most of the time with my friends whether we were at the beach, shopping, or just hanging around the house! A bunch of my close friends live near the lake so sometimes I’d find myself jumping in the lake after an exhausting day of raiding the malls! Then at night I would have practice! Sometimes practices during summer get rough, but being on the same team with my best friend/cousin made everything that much easier and enjoyable! I also traveled to California and Arizona this summer! My family is going to move to Arizona in the near future so it was fun meeting some AZ Power girls along with meeting Rika Cuff and the girls of Cactus Shadows High School cheerleading team. Arizona is beautiful; I cannot wait to live there! While I was there, I climbed Camelback Mountain. It is such a different kind of cardio workout from running on a treadmill in the middle of winter in Illinois.
I had two cheer camps this summer – one for my high school team and one with my all-star team, Ultimate Athletics Sovereignty! Spending time with both teams was a blast; I love continuing to bond with them. With school and choreography underway, I couldn’t be more excited for these upcoming months!! Jennifer Burke, SSAS
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