I’ve always wondered how people with extremely busy lives manage to a) stay away from constant mental breakdowns, and b) manage to maintain a healthy relationship. From past experiences, being busy 24/7 is never healthy for any relationship, romantic or not. You always need some breathing room. So, I wondered, who’s an individual that probably has a ridiculous schedule and needs to risk it all for the fame, glamour, and endless opportunity to have it all? A member of an NFL cheerleading team.
I sat down with Hannah Lebeau, 22, current cheerleader for the New England Patriots, to discuss how life, and more importantly, love, has been affected by her glamorous career. Growing up in Auburn, Massachusetts, Lebeau never thought her dream would come true as everybody’s favorite cheerleader.
Cassidy: What is it like being an NFL Cheerleader? What are some of the positives/negatives with having this position?
Hannah: Being an NFL cheerleader is the most rewarding job I could ever ask for. I have gained so much knowledge in the past four years about myself and feel as I have grown a lot as a person in my time with the organization. Though it gets busy at times, and standing on the sidelines in the winter may be a little bit colder than I would like, I wouldn’t trade the experiences for anything! I have the opportunity to act in the community, travel, and meet new people all the time. My teammates are my forever best friends and I couldn’t be more thankful to share these experiences with them.
C: Describe what an average day looks like for you.
H: My week varies because I get to make my own hours at work. So, if I am working, I will usually go to the gym really early in the morning and then come back and prep my food for the day and drive out to Boston to work. If it’s a Tuesday, I will have practice for three hours from 7-10pm and usually go right from work to the stadium. Some days out of the week, I have promotional appearances and the down time that I rarely have, I’m taking care of my new puppy, running errands, and practicing my sideline routines. I do the typical stuff and average person would do, I guess!
C: Have you found that you have a hard time maintaining a relationship?
H: I am currently in a relationship and he is so supportive and loving towards everything that I do. I am a lucky girl for sure! I have found that the people who understand the job and the sacrifices I have to make sometimes are the ones that are easy to maintain a relationship with. So, the people I have in my life who support me with that are incredible and I’m so thankful to have them by my side!
C: Are there certain things you can and cannot do while on the team that applies to the “average college lifestyle”?
H: I was still able to enjoy myself in college with my friends the whole time I was there, which was great. College is a chapter in life that you don’t want to miss out on anything, so I’m lucky to have been able to go through that journey. But, I was always cautious about my location and possible pictures that could potentially jeopardize my job. I am more of a “binge watch Netflix on a Friday night” person in general, so I didn’t have to worry much about that!
C: A lot of NFL Cheerleading stereotypes are that the people who belong to the team are doing it just for the fame. How do you respond to that?
H: Stereotypes will always be there, so we don’t let that get to us! The amount of hours and hard work that we put into this job everyday is a lot more than someone would think, so it’s definitely for the love and the journey of the job rather than the fame.
C: What do you see yourself doing in five years?
H: Hopefully, I would have found a full-time job in my field that I love and being able to support myself comfortably. I just want to love what I’m doing with my life and wake up happy every day!
C: What are your life aspirations?
H: My passion in life has always been leadership and putting others before myself. So, if I can do that and make others smile, I will have reached my goal.
C: Has being an NFL Cheerleader helped in the job world at all? What about in terms of networking?
H: I cannot even begin to describe the amount of people I have met through the four years I have been on this team. My networking circle has grown so much and I feel that I know at least one person in every job field that I could potentially take part in, which is awesome.
C: Tell me about one of the most rewarding times and one of the worst times you’ve gotten out of being an NFL Cheerleader.
H: I had the opportunity to travel to Arizona for Super Bowl XLIX and dance on the sidelines of the entire game. We slept minimal hours, traveled to a bunch of appearances all week, but it was the most surreal experience I could have ever been a part of. One time that stands out to me was on a game day against the Denver Broncos which was during my rookie year. I had food poisoning all night the night before and the morning of. I didn’t get any sleep and the wind chill was in the negatives for the game. It even went into overtime. I was cold, sick, and tired. But, I sucked it up and stood out there for the whole game. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right?
C: Do you get to miss out on a lot while being an NFL Cheerleader?
H: There are definitely sacrifices I have to make, such as things like going out on weekends with my friends because I have practice, an appearance, or a game the next day, even the small stuff like going out to eat because I’m watching my nutrition and health to look great in that uniform. But, I only get to do this for four years, so the sacrifices are worth it to me.
C: What kind of advice would you give to an aspiring member of the team?
H: My number one piece of advice is to trust the process. Some ladies audition four or five times before they make the team. So, if anyone wants to be on the team, don’t give up if you fail. Keep trying because you never know what year could be your lucky one!
Thank you so much, Hannah, for the wonderful interview. It’s truly inspiring to hear about such an amazing experience!
Stay tuned for next time!
As always, xoxo.