Flutes, cheers, and switching gears

October 30, 2014

Kaitlyn Andreessen, a sophomore, is a a great juggler, but she isn’t juggling bowling balls or bowling pins.

Andreessen juggles school and extra-curriculars- whose performances often happen at the same time. Friday night home games are a busy time for Andreessen because of the fact that she must bide her time between playing flute in the marching band and cheering with the cheerleading team.

Andreessen has been playing flute for nearly four years, picking up the instrument in her sixth grade band class.

“My mom did band when she was younger so I thought it would be cool to follow in her footsteps”, Andreessen said.

Andreessen has been cheering with the Vikings since her freshman year, but has wanted to cheer ever since she could remember.

“I wanted to cheer because I thought it would be really fun, and you get to meet a lot of new people by doing it”, Andreessen said.

Going from shaking pom-poms to playing a flute and back again at a single football game would prove to be stressful for a lot of people, but Andreessen doesn’t let all the switching phase her.

Andreessen has a system in place to minimize stress on game performance day. For the pre-game field performance, she will perform with the band. Then, she plays with the band in the stands until halftime, and then she heads down to the track to pick up her pom-poms and cheering Vikings to a win.

Outside of game day, Kaitlyn still must do a balancing act in her daily life, because she not only does band and cheer, but she is also involved in her community. She teaches a Sunday School class for toddlers and is also active in her Church’s Youth Group.

Last year, Andreessen didn’t find the transition between activities as easy as she does now.

“Last year, doing all my activities affected my school work a little at the beginning of the year because high school was a big change,” Andreessen said. “After a few months, I kind of learned how to balance it, so this year is going better”.

Between her activities and schoolwork, she still finds time to cover some of her favorite artists’ songs in her spare time. She finds the sheet music for a specific song online, and learns to play it.

“I go to websites where I can learn how to play songs that come on the radio,” Andreessen said.

Communication is key for Andreessen and her coaches, Mr. Haupt for band and Ms. Leik for cheerleading. Due to sometimes having coinciding practices and events, she sometimes has to miss or leave one practice or event slightly early for the other.

“If I communicate with both of them, then they’re okay with me having to miss a little bit of practice time.”

Andreessen has still managed to keep on top of her schoolwork between her hectic schedules.

“I have to make sure that I come straight home and do my homework after practice.”, Andreessen said. “I also have to do it in enough time to practice cheers and practice the music for band.”


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