St. C. native makes Rams’ cheering squad

Alexis Laurine spent most of her childhood and teenage years dancing and cheering.

The 2012 St. Clairsville High School graduate will now be spending some time of her adulthood doing the same things.

Laurine was chosen as one of 32 St. Louis Rams cheerleaders for the upcoming season after a highly competitive two-week try-out process.

“This experience has been a dream come true,” Laurine said.

Laurine had given some thought to looking into the process of what it would take to become a cheerleader for the Rams, but it wasn’t until late last year after the urging of her boyfriend, Elliott Linton, that Laurine really seriously considered the idea.

“I had thrown the idea around, but after a conversation with my boyfriend, I looked into the organization and after watching videos of them performing and learning more about all the community outreach they did, I knew I wanted to be a St. Louis Rams cheerleader,” Laurine said.

Thus, the process was under way.

After some workouts, additional research and auditions, Laurine began the actual audition process.

“I was fortunate to have so much support from my family, boyfriend and close friends,” Laurine said. “With all of their help, I felt fully prepared for this endeavor.”

The audition process included a photo shoot, a preliminary audition dance and then the field was cut before the final audition, which included a longer dance, an interview, modeling, an on-stage question and a final dance performance.

“A St. Louis Rams cheerleader is a well-rounded woman who is a performer, but she’s also a representative of the city itself, so all of these areas are necessary for the audition process,” Laurine said.

Laurine learned she made the squad just a little more than a week ago, but she admits there’s still a time when she feels like pinching herself to make sure it’s real.

“I was in shock, and I know my mouth dropped a mile (when I heard my name called),” Laurine said. “Even days after that night, I was still replaying the emcee announcing my number and name in my head.”

Laurine, who is a sophomore dance and technical theater major at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri, will continue the pursuit of her degree.

“Going into this opportunity, I was fully aware of the commitment that it required with rehearsals, games and appearances, so I altered my schedule before the auditions in hopes of making the team,” Laurine explained.

Though the NFL hasn’t formally announced the 2014 schedule yet, Laurine is already thinking about her first game in the Edward Jones Dome in September.

“Just thinking about that (first) game gives me chills,” Laurine said. “The fans in St. Louis are very supportive of their teams, and I know the energy for that first game will be amazing, and to be a part of something so important to so many people makes me that much more eager to get on the field.”

Laurine was introduced to dancing at the age of 2 at the Toni Zeakes Performing Arts Center. She then went to Turn It Out Dance Academy in high school, studying ballet, jazz, tap, acrobatics, hip hop, pointe and contemporary.

She also cheered for six years at St. Clairsville.

“I credit most of my dancing ability today to my years of cheering at St. Clairsville,” Laurine said. “Those years really made me focus on being a chean dancer and reinforced the importance of teamwork to achieve your goals.”

As a freshman at Lindenwood, Laurine cheered and the squad qualified to NCA Nationals in Daytona Beach.

Laurine also expressed her sincere appreciation to her family and friends.

“After I made the first cut, more people found out and reached out to me, sending well wishes,” Laurine said. “Since it’s been announced, the reaction from my family and friends has been overwhelming. I feel so blessed to have so much support from everyone in the Ohio Valley. My hometown and the people in it will always hold a special place in my heart.”

Staskey can be reached at sstaskey@timesleaderonline.com