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Mount Si's high-flying Dana Pecora heads to Montana
High-flying cheerleader Dana Pecora —she’s the one at the top of the pyramid—is more spirited than ever these days. The Mount Si High School senior, oldest daughter of Peter and Patty Pecora, auditioned recently for the competitive cheer squad at the University of Montana at Missoula, and made the team.
“I absolutely loved my experience cheering here, and really wanted to continue that in college,” she said, after the April 28-29 audition.
She took a break from practice one sunny afternoon to answer the following questions.
What made you choose the University of Montana?
“I totally love that school. I was going to go there even if I didn’t cheer for them. The school just really appealed to me, I loved the area. I went and visited, and the people were so nice. They have a really good program in physical therapy, and I want to go into that. The cheer team was an added bonus. It was another reason why I wanted to go there.
What drove your decision to study physical therapy?
I like interacting with other people, and I really wanted to do something medical but personal. Physical therapy was the perfect mix for me and my personality, and Montana has an awesome six-year program.
What is your position in cheer?
I’m a flier. I’ll do that in college cheer, too, because it’s a co-ed team, not just all girls, so we actually partner-stunt with boys.
What makes cheerleading important to you?
I love cheerleading because it’s totally a mixed sport, and at the co-ed competitive level, like the University of Montana’s team is, it’s just such a rush of so many things. It’s not just dancing, not just cheering, it’s all about tumbling and stunting, and being totally fit, so you can do all of that. (At the U of M) it’s more of a sport, and less of a sideline cheer. It’s more competitive, which I love.
What’s your favorite sport to cheer?
Football, hands-down. It’s high-intensity…similar to cheer in a way that you wouldn’t think.
They’re both super high-intensity sports. I’ve always loved football, growing up. I’m totally a football girl, and I know the sport, too, so I know what I’m cheering for.”
Montana is not that far from home, and Dana says she’ll be back a lot.
“I embrace all the influences I’ve had here, I’m not one of those kids who’s just dying to get out of high school, but I’m super-excited for what’s to come.”