Getting to know your Rams: Jalena Roseborough talks behind the scenes about being a WSSU cheerleader

Roseborough would like to work with children as a guidance counselor after graduation.

Getting to know your Rams: Jalena Roseborough talks behind the scenes about being a WSSU cheerleader
October 06
13:37 2021

Jalena Roseborough

– Cheerleader (Junior)

– Glenn graduate (2019)

– Major: Elementary Education

Becoming a part of the Powerhouse of Red and White has been a dream for Jalena Roseborough since she was a kid and for Roseborough, dreams do come true. The junior elementary education major is in her third year of being on the prestigious cheerleading squad at Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) and is enjoying every minute of it.

“I have always wanted to be a cheerleader at Winston-Salem State University,” said Roseborough. “Being from Winston, me and my family used to go to the homecoming games and the different events they have on campus and the cheerleaders automatically drew me in.

“Ever since, I was like, ‘oh my gosh, I want to be one of them.’  I would always go and stand in front of the cheerleaders and I would go to their cheer explosion they have over the summer where they would get a group of kids together and they would host an event and the children got to cheer with them and do different fun activities and that drew me in also.”

Cheerleading is more than just clapping and giving spirit fingers. There is a lot of hard work that goes into developing and executing different routines, along with all of the mental and physical preparation that is required to be a cheerleader. Roseborough says people don’t see the behind-the-scenes work, but is happy that people enjoy the show the Powerhouse of Red and White performs each Saturday afternoon.

“It’s a lot of hard work that goes into it,” she says about being a cheerleader at WSSU. “We are very dedicated, we work hard, and at the end of it all, our student athletes are prepared to take on the real world. It’s a lot of workouts, hard work, and dedication.

“It makes me feel PROUD, in all caps. It’s the best feeling, because you never know when you’re practicing you may stumble here and there and then it comes out perfect the way you wanted it to. It’s just like, wow we did it. One thing about Powerhouse, we never get discouraged and we are always pushing to be better, because hard work pays off.”

Roseborough is an admitted performer at heart. When she can see the crowd positively reacting to one of their cheers, it makes her smile. “Being out there hyping up the crowd, cheering amongst my peers, getting everyone in the crowd involved with participation and the energy they give us,” Roseborough answered as to what’s the biggest thrill for her on the field.

The cheerleading squad at WSSU is a very close-knit group according to Roseborough. They all support one another and are more than just teammates.

“We’re a family in this program,” she said. “With everybody on this team, it’s a relationship that has been developed. We are all comfortable with each other, we can come to each other about everything, and we are together all the time. It is important on this team that you build a relationship with someone; with everyone actually.”

Working out is a big part of staying physically fit enough to endure the stress of being part of the Powerhouse of Red and White. It’s no easy task, so preparing your body during the offseason is paramount for the young people on the squad.  

“In the offseason, we are working out and we are always doing something to keep our bodies in shape for the upcoming season,” said Roseborough. “We are always exercising, running or conditioning for the next season.”

As one of the veteran upperclassmen on the team, Roseborough says it’s very important for the older members of the team to mentor the younger members and take them under their wing, so to speak.

“Being in the program, it sometimes can be a lot and coming in as a freshman, you’re kind of blindsided and don’t know what to really expect,” she said. “Once you get into it, sometimes they may get into panic mode because of the workload they have, so I try to take them and mentor them a little, because it can be intimidating. I love being a positive example for them.”

Being in hostile environments is tough on the cheer squad, as well as the football team. Roseborough says they try to stay focused and do their jobs no matter what is going on around them.  

Off the field, Roseborough likes to decompress by reading, dancing, going to the mall, and eating. She says her favorite food is sushi. She says balancing every aspect of her student life is sometimes difficult, but she makes sure to prioritize all areas of her life accordingly.  

She is also a member of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee. In this role she is an advocate for her fellow student athletes, responsible for promoting communication with the athletic administration staff, and organizing community service and fundraising events.

Working with children is also a big passion for Roseborough. After graduation, she wants to dedicate her life to making the future better for young children.

“I have always wanted to work with children,” she said. “When I was younger, I used to dance, and I would take the children under my wing and help them, and I grew a passion for it. As far as when I graduate, I want to get my master’s degree in guidance counseling. Maybe, you know, kind of take that path. I do want to work with children in some way.”

Being from Winston-Salem, Roseborough loves having the opportunity to have her family and friends come out and see her perform at every home game. She says WSSU was always her number one choice for college and never really gave another school a second thought.

Being on the sidelines during some of the rivalry games is a big thrill for Roseborough, because she says you can literally feel the intensity in the air. “It’s actually fun, the energy is crazy,” she said about those rivalry games. “The energy that their crowd gives them and the energy that our crowd gives us is fun, but it’s like crazy, but not in a bad way. It’s like we are hyped and everybody is ready to go.”

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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