Kitty Turley found herself in a completely new and unexpected role during the last six months.
Turley, a senior on Piedmont High School’s cheer team, was featured in a cheerleading documentary that aired in theatres across the United States in April.
One of four high school cheerleaders from across the country picked to star in ‘Nfinity Champions League 2,’ Turley gave director Mark Ellis an all-access tour into what life is like for a cheerleader on, and off the mat.
The film crew traveled to Piedmont for four days to see what Turley’s life was like away from cheerleading, and followed her during a cheer competition in Los Angeles.
“It was really an awesome experience,” Turley said. “My favorite part was being mic’d up at the competition and also seeing it in the theatre when it came out.”
Turley was selected after responding to an email sent out by her competitive cheer coach from her competitive team, Obession, based out of Twist and Shout Cheer’s gym in Oklahoma City. She sent an audition tape in and made the cut.
“I don’t know if I’d say it made me famous, but it was definitely an awesome experience,” she said of the opportunity. “I’d do it again in a heartbeat.”
For now, Turley’s next big cheerleading adventure is All-State cheer in Tulsa. Selected as one of 16 girls from more than 200 hopefuls, she’ll cheer at the All-State football and basketball games later this summer.
It’s the culmination of 13 years of hard work for Turley that could come to an end soon. She plans to spend her first year of college at UCO competing with Obsession, but after that isn’t sure if she’ll cheer in college once her eligibility with competitive cheer runs out next year.
“ I haven’t really gotten that far,” she said. “I’ll make a decision after I can’t do competitive cheer anymore.”
Ironically, it was the past gymnasts’ fear of any gymnastic event other than the floor routines that pushed her toward tumbling and cheer.
“My mom told me there was a sport where all of the events were on the floor,” she said of her mom Donna Turley’s suggestion to try cheer. “That sounded like something I would enjoy.”
She started off as a flyer – the one tasked with being vaulted into the air – then after injuries and pressure from the position mounted, decided to become a base.
Her competitive team has trips to Orlando, Washington D.C. and Dallas planned when the season picks back up in the fall. Last year she was part of Obsession’s Gold Medal World Championship won in Orlando.
“That’s my favorite memory from cheerleading so far,” Turley said.
And what about those that say cheerleading isn’t a sport?
“I would say they can believe whatever they choose, but I know what kind of practice and endurance goes into it. There are a lot of blood, sweat and tears that go into what we do.”
And, for Turley, a little bit of fame.