MISSOULA – Now in its eleventh year, the Griz Glam Jam is the top fund raiser for the University of Montana spirit squad. It’s also a great opportunity for Montana’s youngest cheer stars to show off their skills.
In this week’s Youth Sports Spotlight, we meet a few members of the Galaxy Elite.
Cheering is an important job. Without a spirit squad, who’s going to fire up the home crowd while the team’s are playing? Each year, the Dahlberg Arena at the University of Montana hosts hundreds of boys and girls eager to show their spirit.
“I just love showing people the amazing things that my team can do and I love meeting new people and just going around world and having fun,” said Justice Downing.
“Getting the ability to inspire others, like little kids and, and I just love performing in front of people, like all the skills that we can do as like a family,” said Jenna Johnson.
“I just like the performing part and showing everybody like what we can do and what we’re capable of,” said Carly Dodson.
And they’re capable of quite a lot. These girls and guys demonstrate exceptional gymnastic ability. Johnson and Dodson are part of a duo.
“We have a left 3 senior duo,” explained Johnson, “So we just throw back tucks, front tucks, just a whole bunch of different skills. It’s a hard routine.”
But that routine, hard as it is, took them just three weeks to perfect. They took first in their competition. And for Downing, who lives for cheering, performing for the Griz Cheer Squad was like a dream come true.
“It’s really awesome because I look, I hope to be one of them one day,” she said.
Unlike Johnson and Dodson, Downing doesn’t compete in solos or duos; she says she’s too afraid. But while she’s performing, her best friend is always there to lend moral support.
“Shout-out to my best friend Tia who has been there for me.”