Cheer Spotlight: Black History Month –

Name: Kesha

Highest Level of Education/Degree: Master’s in Business Administration 

Current Occupation: IT Account Executive – NetSuite; Boutique Owner

Year on AZCC: Rookie

Previous Dance Experience: Prairie View A&M Black Fox Dance Team; Houston Texans Cheerleaders; Dallas Sidekicks Dancers 

Name your most inspirational historical Black Male: My father. He was the first Black student to attend Southwestern University!

Name your most inspirational historical Black Female: Madam CJ Walker, black entrepreneur of hair care products and 1st female self-made millionaire in America

Who/What inspired your healthy lifestyle and nutritional habits?
My first pageant director, Sherry Hanson was very influential in inspiring me to live a healthier lifestyle. As we prepared for Miss Texas, she taught me the importance of adopting a better diet to get better results. Not only did I look good, but I felt good! I worked with a personal trainer for the first time and he helped me lose stubborn stomach fat with proper diet and nutrition. To top it off, I won a fitness award at the pageant competition that year.

Who/What inspired you to get to your level of fitness & athletic/dance abilities?
Aside from pageants, having the goal of making a ProCheer team was my inspiration to continue to work out. I loved how the training sessions made me look and feel and since cardio was the easiest way for me to maintain the results, I begin to go to more dance classes and fell in love with running. Now, I make it priority to run at least 2 miles a day. That’s only 20 minutes on a treadmill a day!

What inspiration or advice can you provide to someone who struggles with an unhealthy lifestyle?
Balance is Key. You can’t starve yourself to get good results…it must become a lifestyle. And make it fun! Try new recipes. Grab a buddy and do a fitness challenge! It’s ok to have the dessert, just plan to work out at least 20 minutes the next day. 

Anything else you’d like to add as it relates specifically to Black Health & Wellness?
Good food and fellowship are important to the Black community, but it doesn’t mean that our health has to suffer along the way. I remember having a tough conversation with my grandmother about cooking healthier food options for dinner. It’s not that I didn’t like the food, but as studies show, it’s killing us…literally. Since then, she’s opted to cooking in olive oil, using the air fryer, and even making more vegetables. It’s not easy unwriting generational curses, but as we continue to educate ourselves, we all can contribute and begin to take greater strides in improving black health and wellness, one step at a time.