Greetings, Science Cheerleader fans! Meet Melanie, a former Atlanta Falcons cheerleader with a degree in exercise and sports science, who is currently competing in Bud Light’s Facebook contest to be a special correspondent at Super Bowl XLVI! As a five-year NFL cheerleader, Melanie went to the ProBowl but she’s never made it to the SuperBowl. Want to help her achieve a dream? After you’ve learned more about Melanie, consider voting for her clicking this Bud Light Facebook link, then click on Melanie Snare’s video and “like” it! That simple. Melanie thanks you in advance!!
First, let’s learn more about Melanie’s interest in science!
Melanie, you’ve got a degree in Exercise and Sport Sciences from the University of North Carolina (UNC)-Chapel Hill. What got you interested in that degree?
Melanie: I wanted to be a physical therapist. In order to do that, I stayed on track for my exercise and sports science degree and took all the necessary classes to apply to physical therapy school down the road. My path changed considerably!
We’ll get to that in just a bit. Can you tell us about your favorite courses you took to prepare for your degree?
Melanie: I loved learning the science of how our body works! My favorite classes were Human Anatomy, Physiology and Biomechanics. It was just all so tangible and I could understand how these subjects affected me as a person and as an athlete.
You’re now working as a television reporter. How’d that happen?
Melanie: My other college degree was in Communication Studies. Being a cheerleader in the NFL opened many doors for me, including being a guest on TV shows, being a spokesmodel, etc. I fell in love with being in front of the camera. It was so much like cheering–being prepared, performing for an audience-—it was just a natural transition for me after cheering. And I still cover the Falcons cheerleaders, so it’s a lot of fun to host a TV show about the cheerleading world and be involved that way!
Best part of your day job?
Melanie: The best part of my day job is that I have a platform that allows me to inspire others. I get to share experiences, life lessons, and so much more with people to encourage them to not just dream big, but to chase those dreams and to make them happen!
You cheered for UNC-Chapel Hill and the Atlanta Falcons. Tell us more about that.
Melanie: I grew up in a dance studio my entire life. I loved to dance, and when I went to college, I just wasn’t ready to give up that chapter of my life. So I tried out for the dance team and became a collegiate dancer/cheerleader. Same thing when I was graduating college: I still wasn’t ready to give it up, so I looked up nearby NFL teams and picked Atlanta because I grew up going to dance competitions in that city and loved it. Not only did it allow me to keep dancing, it introduced me to an entire new group of friends and provided a network of connections that will benefit me for a lifetime. My very best friends and life memories are with my Carolina girls and Falcons cheerleaders!
Which came first, your interest in science or cheerleading?
Melanie: My interest in dance/cheerleading came first. I was one of those kids who wanted to perform nonstop from the minute I could walk. Now I see the same passion in my four-year-old daughter and even my 20-month-old is beginning to do the same. It’s pretty awesome to watch!
Describe a typical day.
Melanie:A typical day for me varies depending on whether I have a shoot that day or not. If I do have a shoot that day, I will wake up do, some final research for my show whether that’s preparing interview questions, what I am going to say in a show intro, or just reviewing the place/people being featured on a show. Then I either head on set for hair and makeup or to my salon for hair and makeup. I love being glammed up by the experts. Then the fun begins when the cameras start rolling. I am best at going with the flow, ad-libbing when necessary and just doing my thing. This fall, I traveled the country hosting a show called Flavor of Football. Every Saturday I flew to a different college campus and would go to the school, meet the fans, and learn all about their college game day traditions. It was the best of both worlds—it was almost like being a cheerleader out there with all the fans, but without the pom poms. Those days were a lot of fun, but exhausting, especially if my return flight to Atlanta was that same day. My industry is a lot of work, but very rewarding and fun, so it almost doesn’t feel like “work” most of the time.
How did your fellow cheerleaders accept your interest in science?
Melanie: They embraced it! I live in a cheerleading world where being intelligent is celebrated and expected! We all have all kinds of passions and interests and careers, so it’s always fun to be breaking stereotypes out there!
Do you find that stereotypes about cheerleaders have helped or hindered your professional experiences?
Melanie: I am indifferent. I feel like they are definitely present, but once you start talking to someone, you can wow them within 15 seconds by who you are and what you are all about, and they will immediately know that you are someone to take seriously. It’s awesome to meet someone with the stereotype that cheerleaders are dumb because I can always convert them to the truth!
Best cheerleading experience?
Melanie: Cheering in the Pro Bowl as my last game: standing on the sidelines in Hawaii beside one lady representing each of the other NFL teams was the best final game I could have asked for. It was there that I learned to make new dreams come true. And it was such an honor that my teammates believed in me enough to send me as the representative for the Atlanta Falcons organization.
If you could rewind the clock and change your degree, would you? If so, to what and why? If not, why not?
Melanie: I might change my double major to Journalism instead of Communication Studies so I could have gotten more of a focus on broadcasting, but all in all I am happy with where I am and what it took me to get here, so probably not.
Do you have any advice for youngsters who might feel torn between following one dream and another?
Melanie: My advice is that you don’t have to choose! You can and should do both! I know many people who did and still do! It just takes extra work ethic, time management, and prioritization skills and determination. We CAN do it all!
Along these lines, what advice would you give your 12-year-old self?
Melanie: I would tell her to enjoy every single experience because you are in for the most amazing ride you can imagine—and when you get the choice to sit it out or dance—just dance!
What’s one thing people might find especially surprising about you?
Melanie: With my crazy-busy career, I still manage to be a pretty cool mom to two beautiful little girls.
What are your plans for the future?
Melanie: I hope to launch my hosting career more on the national level, go to many dance recitals and sporting events to watch my little girls cheer over the years, and I am launching a blog in late January 2012 to inspire others that they can and should chase their dreams. We CAN do it all! It will be at www.howshedoesitall.com.
Why do you want to be a Science Cheerleader?
Melanie:To inspire others!