A few years ago, one of Serena’s dance teachers predicted that she would one day walk the field as a professional cheerleader in the NFL, saying she had both the talent as a dancer, the energy and spirit of a cheerleader. It seemed more like a fantasy at first, but she has since made it a reality. Being a Ravens Cheerleader has given her confidence and a sense of pride, knowing she is representing her city and her team. She loves the anticipation leading up to games, watching how it all comes together for the team before kickoff. She never really knows what is going to happen next! Asiance spoke to Serena to learn a little bit more about this Hapa beauty!
ASIANCE: What is your background?
Serena: I am half Chinese and had Italian.
ASIANCE: Are you parents both Asian?
Serena: No, my mother is 100% Chinese and my father is 100% Italian.
ASIANCE: Where did you grow up?
Serena: I grew up in Bel Air, Maryland.
ASIANCE: What inspired you to become an NFL Cheerleader?
Serena: My love of dancing and performing truly inspired to become an NFL Cheerleader.
ASIANCE: Have you ever performed at the Super Bowl before?
Serena: No, I have only been a part of the team for the past four years… and each year our team has gotten closer and closer! That’s why this opportunity is extremely precious to me.
ASIANCE: What are you looking forward to about your Super Bowl performance?
Serena: Running out of the gauntlet for the first time and looking out into the stadium. I remember running out of the Ravens gauntlet for the first time… It took my breath away.
ASIANCE: What background do you have that contributed to your success as a professional cheerleader?
Serena: I believe that my strong work ethic and persistence is what keeps me successful. As a professional cheerleader, you learn that you cannot solely rely on your talent. You must be able to represent the organization to the best of your ability at all times.
At tryouts every year I see more and more Asian/Asian American Women interested in trying out!
ASIANCE: Did you receive any resistance from your family as this occupation defies traditional Asian Family Values?
Serena: At first I did not tell my father, who is not Asian, that I was trying out because of how protective he is. I did not want him to worry. However, after making the team, my whole family quickly learned how amazing the organization is and knew I was in good hands. My mother, who is 100% Chinese was always supportive of my decision and continues to support me to this day.
ASIANCE: When did you realize you wanted to be a Baltimore Ravens Cheerleader?
Serena: My senior year of high school was when I really thought about it. When one of my friends said she was trying out and asked me to go with her, I took it as great opportunity.
You can see Serena!
ASIANCE: Who is your favorite current Baltimore Ravens player?
Serena: My favorite Ravens player is Ray Rice. He is a very motivational player on and off the field.
ASIANCE: What cheerleader(s) do you admire?
Serena: I greatly admire my teammate Leslie A. who has been cheering for the Baltimore Ravens or the past 11 years! She has such an aura about her… Not only is she extremely dedicated and passionate about what she does, but she is also a team player and has taught me so many valuable lessons that have helped me both in and out of my Cheerleading career.
ASIANCE: Tell us something most people don’t know about you.
Serena: Most people don’t know that I speak multiple languages. English, Spanish, Italian. I studied Latin in high school and I am also trying to learn some Chinese from my grandparents.
ASIANCE: What is the greatest accomplishment in your life thus far?
Serena: So far, my greatest accomplishment is entering my final semester of Dental Hygiene school! I have been working so hard the past few years to juggle school, my multiple jobs, and Cheerleading. I cannot wait to graduate!
ASIANCE: Name three words that describe you.
Serena: Responsible, passionate, and dedicated.
ASIANCE: If you could have dinner with anyone, who would it be and why?
Serena: I absolutely love having dinner with my family. With everyone’s extremely busy schedule, it is rare that we get to all sit down and eat together. Spending time with them is very important to me.
ASIANCE: What is your favorite activity to do in Baltimore?
Serena: I love going out to dinner downtown and seeing the Inner Harbor… Especially in the summer time!
ASIANCE: What is your best feature?
Serena: My teammates tell me that I have a great smile, which means a lot to me, being a Dental Hygiene student!
ASIANCE: What is the most adventurous thing you have done?
Serena: A few years ago I went parasailing in Mexico with my sister. I was terrified, but when it was all said and done, I’m glad we went! It was such a beautiful view.
ASIANCE: What is the best part about being a Baltimore Ravens Cheerleader?
Serena: Being a part of such a wonderful organization and having so many opportunities that I would not have ever had is the best part of being a Baltimore Ravens Cheerleader. The last four years have been filled with so many thrilling experiences that I could never forget!
ASIANCE: Do you think that Asian/Asian American Women are finally making strides on the professional cheerleading squads?
Serena: I believe so! At tryouts every year I see more and more Asian/Asian American Women interested in trying out!
ASIANCE: What was the worst pickup line you have ever heard?
Serena: “How much does a polar bear weigh? Enough to break the ice”.
ASIANCE: Can you tell us about a crazy fan/stalker incident?
Serena: To be honest, we have such great fans! So I do not have any “incidents” to tell you about; however I can tell you that our fans are always so supportive of us and love coming with us on as many appearances as they can.
ASIANCE: Where do you hope your NFL Cheerleading experience will lead you to?
Serena: It has already done so much for me. I have so many memories that I will cherish for the rest of my life and learn from going forward with whatever else comes my way!
ASIANCE: You all look so gorgeous on the field. How do you manage to look so perfect throughout the routines and in all types of weather?
Serena: Thank you! We had our fair share of rainy games this season, but we combat the weather by wearing waterproof make-up.
ASIANCE: Do you have any “beauty secrets” that you can share with our readers?
Serena: The most important thing is getting enough sleep! Having a busy schedule can interfere, but not getting enough rest can really take a toll on your skin and general appearance. It’s also beneficial to take good care of your face by always washing it before bed and wearing SPF during the day.
ASIANCE: What advice do you have for young girls aspiring to become NFL Cheerleaders?
Serena: I would advise anyone interested in becoming an NFL Cheerleader to be healthy and get active! Being positive and being able to manage a busy lifestyle will come in handy as well.
Thank you to the www.balitmoreravens.com for the interview and pictures.