By Mary Beard
Special to Stlouisrams.com
Rookie Autumn’s life is all about balance. A dancer from when she was young, she currently juggles her role as a St. Louis Rams Cheerleader, her job working as a corporate recruiter for Monsanto and a family complete with husband and two little ones under the age of eight. Not many members of the PTA have the extra-curricular experience that she does, but she wouldn’t want it any different.
A Chicagoan born and raised, Autumn has danced since age three. When she arrived at the University of Illinois she joined Dance 2XS, a hip hop performance group. After graduation she wanted to pursue her dance career, but rather than return to her hometown city, she made the move to St. Louis where members of her family were located. Here she joined a former Rams Cheerleader Ashley at her studio. She eventually married her college sweetheart (though they didn’t meet until their last semester on campus) and had her first baby – a little boy.
Through her work with Ashley she was inspired to try out for the St. Louis Rams Cheerleaders. Her first time auditioning she didn’t make it. So she had another baby, a daughter this time, and last April decided to try out again.
“The second time around I definitely felt more prepared,” Autumn remembers. “I knew what I needed to work on and what they were looking for. I definitely came in with more confidence.”
This time Autumn made the squad, and so far it’s been an unforgettable experience—particularly when she got to share the spotlight with someone close to her.
“We signed our daughter up to dance during halftime of the Breast Cancer Awareness game,” she says. “During the rehearsals she was tired and crabby, but on game day she went out there and was totally into it. Now every game day she brings her little pink poms and thinks that she gets to go on the field and dance. Being able to dance with her on the field is definitely something I’ll remember for the rest of my life.”
Both of her kids think that having a Rams Cheerleader for a mom is pretty cool. But being a role model for children extends past the immediate family for Autumn.
A member of the PTA for her kid’s school, Autumn is passionate about youth education.
“To me it’s so important to be role models for the next generation,” Autumn says. “That’s our legacy after all.”
Her favorite event this season was the Motion for Kids Holiday Party, a festive event thrown with the Saint Louis Bar Foundation for children who have one or more parents affected by the criminal justice system.
“Anything that we can do as representatives for the Rams that puts smiles on kids’ faces--well that’s just awesome.”