Wildcat Tracks: Alli Broadhurst ’19

Most high school athletes’ sports career remains exactly that: an extracurricular activity they enjoyed for four years. It’s rare that one would carry a sport into college and beyond. Yet Alli Broadhurst did just that, starting with the Westminster dance team, moving on to the University of Kentucky dance team, and then to professional cheerleading with the Indianapolis Colts.

While at Westminster, Alli began with varsity dance. “Grace Linton was a magnificent coach for the varsity dance team and like a sister to me. She pushed me, encouraged me, and supported me in all the right ways, which motivated me to continue my dance career after high school,” she said. Alli also participated in choir and performed in musicals. “I received such impeccable training from wonderful individuals who cared so genuinely about their students. Allen Schwamb, Kathy Eichelberger, and Lisa Grove nurtured my performing ability and gave me countless opportunities to perform on the Westminster stage. It would be nearly impossible to include everyone who had an impact on me at WCA because so many different people supported and shaped me in preparation for college and the real world.”

“All of the staff at Westminster made me feel cherished as a student and as a child of God, always pushing me just enough and demonstrating love and selflessness every day.”

Transitioning from collegiate dance to professional cheerleading demands more than just choreography skills. For this dancer-turned-cheerleader, her time with the University of Kentucky Dance Team honed her technical abilities and instilled crucial life skills like time management, teamwork, and perseverance. Along with the guidance of her coach, Dawn Walters, and the support of her teammates, all of this paved the way for her success.

According to Alli, the audition process for the Colts Cheer squad is not for the faint of heart. With hundreds of hopefuls submitting audition videos, only 50 are selected for the in-person finals week. “Hundreds of audition videos were sent to the Colts Cheer organization last year for preliminary auditions,” she said. “I stayed in a hotel room in Indianapolis with my mom for the week and attended my college classes during the day via Zoom. We had tryouts every day from 6–10 or 11 p.m., depending on when we accomplished everything. Scoring areas include a fitness test, interview panel, dance technique, execution of multiple routines, and a solo.”

The final showcase, held in downtown Indianapolis, culminates months of preparation and determination. “Hundreds of people were in the audience, and thousands were on the livestream to find out who would make the cut. As names are called, the new squad members run out one by one. I was the VERY last name called, which gave my parents in the audience an absolute heart attack,” Alli recalled. “I will never forget that moment… I knew God had called me to Indianapolis to continue glorifying Him through dance and community service/engagement.”

Cheerleaders stand beside men and women of the Armed Services.
Alli Broadhurst and other Indianapolis Colts cheerleaders stand beside members of the Armed Services.

Beyond the sidelines, being a Colts Cheerleader means diverse responsibilities. Contrary to most assumptions, game-day appearances are just a fraction of Alli’s job description. “We have the biggest Junior Cheer program in the NFL, which allows us to work and perform with youth in the community. We have countless community appearances and events in which we interact with fans and Indiana residents of all ages and backgrounds. Our team goes everywhere from juvenile detention centers to large corporation fundraisers and galas,” Alli explained. “I traveled to Germany, Spain, and Italy this past season for military tours. On these tours, we cultivated and experienced joyful and meaningful moments with soldiers. We ran youth clinics, performed shows for soldiers and their families, served lunches at DFAC, and shared meals with men and women, listening to their stories, struggles, and journeys. Colts Cheer is much more than just football, and I was blessed with an incredibly jam-packed season of connection and experiences. Also, a fun fact: every Colts Cheerleader has an additional full-time job!”

One standout moment for Alli happened at the end of this year’s football season. She was given the opportunity to sing the National Anthem at the Colts’ season closer. “Singing the National Anthem was truly one of the greatest honors of my life. My coaches found out early on in the season that I have a musical theatre background and were determined to utilize my singing voice. I was designated to be the ‘backup’ anthem singer for the season in case someone missed a flight or got sick,” she explained. “In the meantime, I traveled with Colts Cheer to Germany to sing in a show for military bases. I found out about four weeks before the last home game of the season that the Colts wanted me to sing the anthem for our closing (and very sold-out) game. The only other time I have sang the National Anthem was for one of Mr. Muehleisen’s wrestling tournaments! However, I prayed for peace and confidence and that Lucas Oil would see God’s light shine through me. I’ll never forget that incredible opportunity!”

For more information, check out Alli’s Instagram: @Alli.Broadhurst

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