“Front handspring, step-out, round-off back handspring, step-out, round-off back handspring, full-twisting layout.”
It’s a combination that any cheerleader, and many non-cheerleaders, would recognize from the well-known movie “Bring It On.”
For Murrayville native Kyle Black, however, he doesn’t just recognize the sequence; he lives it.
He has worked his entire life to be able to achieve his goals, and for this dedication and talent, Black recently earned one of 10 spots on a cheerleading worlds competiton team, beating out more than 800 others for the honor. He also received a scholarship to Hawaii Pacific University to cheer on their Large Senior Co-Ed squad, and he is traveling this summer to work with a professional choreography company. His success seems enormous now, but his story goes back thirteen years to when he decided to be a gymnast.
From the time he was just a toddler, Black always knew that he wanted to tumble, and he told his mother that he wanted to be an olympic gymnast.
“When he was four, I made him write it on a piece of paper, and I kept it,” his mother, Elaine Black said.
He was recruited at age five by the Gainesville School of Gymnastics and was self-teaching by age 11.
“He broke both arms in one year and broke one of them twice,” Elaine said.
The family knew he was serious about tumbling, even at such a young age, when he went to a cheerleading competition with his brother and his brother’s girlfriend.
“At intermission, he just went down to the mat and started tumbling,” Elaine said, “A coach in Forsyth saw him and wanted him to join a gym team down there.”
Kyle and his father went to meet the coach, who was looking to put up a gym somewhere in North Hall, and five years later, it all came together. After two years, unfortunately, the gym closed, but Kyle still had his desire to cheer and tumble. He went on to join Pro Cheer out of Braselton and was put on the highest level of their competition teams as a freshman in high school. Although he graduated from Chestatee High School in December after being a member of the Class AAA state runner-up co-ed squad, Black does not plan to stop cheering and tumbling anytime soon.
“I realized that this was something I wanted a career in when I started at Pro Cheer,” Kyle said.
The future looks bright for him, but it wasn’t all easy. For Hawaii Pacific University, he had to put together an audition video that included standing tumbling, running tumbling, a self-made cheer, and multiple jumps, as well as an interview segment. He wants to get his degree in finance and business, but he is passionate about choreography.
“I want to stay in that business,” Black said of choreography, “I got a summer job with Twisted Choreography out of Illinois, so I’ll be traveling to places like Ohio and New Jersey, and when I get back, I go to Hawaii.”
His success, however, does not even stop there. In Orlando in April, he tried out amongst 800 others for one of the 10 singles spots on a worlds competition team. One from each state is chosen, and then that pool is narrowed to 10 individuals who earn a spot on the team and a large sum of money. Black represented Georgia and earned the second place spot on the team and $4000 to use toward college.
“My motto is ‘hard work overcomes talent when talent doesn’t work hard,’” Black said, and it certainly is, for only he knows how many back handsprings and standing back tucks it took for him to make it to the top.
“We’re very blessed, and we’re very thankful,” his mother said, because for Kyle, “It is kind of like a dream coming true.”
And now, for the entire Black family, any dream seems possible.