Congratulations to Dominique Burke, USA Cheer's 2017 STUNT Athlete of the Year!
USA Cheer has named Dominique Burke their 2017 College Stunt Athlete of the Year. Burke is a senior captain at Alma College in Michigan and will represent USA Cheer and STUNT at the Women's Sports Foundation Annual Salute to Women in Sports.
Being named USA Cheer's College Stunt Athlete of the Year is an incredible honor! I was at a loss for words when my coach told me. It is an amazing honor to have coaches, teammates, and a sport that believes in me this much and that has helped me grow so much as well.
Burke followed in her mother's footsteps and began her cheerleading career as a 7th grader at Lapeer East in Michigan. After college, Burke went on to attend Alma College, where she was first introduced to the sport of STUNT.
"The Alma College cheer program had already been involved in STUNT prior to me joining the team," explained Burke. "I had no clue what STUNT was all about when I joined the team but as the season progressed into STUNT I quickly fell in love with every aspect of STUNT."
I think the best part about STUNT is honestly how into the games my team gets. We celebrate every little success no matter what is going on during the game; my team is always yelling encouraging things to one another. We expect a lot from ourselves but we always remind each other to have fun because we are doing what we love with people we love.
"I love the competitiveness of STUNT," she said. "Everyone learns the same exact thing so there isn't really room for objectivity. What you see is what you get. It is so fun to hear a routine you're in be called and the crowd and your team yelling as loud as they can."
With the interest in STUNT growing rapidly, Burke is excited to see what is to come of the sport in the future.
"I truly hope STUNT continues to grow and develop into a massive female sport for high schools and colleges," she said. "I hope that STUNT becomes the regulated sport that competitive cheerleading has so long deserved. STUNT has really been helping change the negative stigma that cheer gets."
As Burke prepares to take on her senior season as an Alma College Scot, she talks about the goals she has for he squad -- which go far beyond winning.
"We always talk about goals in a controllable manner: we cannot control the opponents, the judges, or the unforeseeable," Burke explained.
I know my team is hungry for the 2018 STUNT championship. But personally, my goal for this team is to stay humble to who we are and not to lose sight of why we cheer."I want us to continue to celebrate our little [successes] that produce big outcomes; to stay united and enjoy every second we have together doing what we love; and to work harder than we ever have before, because the possibilities and limits are endless for what we can achieve."
Dominique Burke's Signature Skills
"I love basket tosses," she said. "Fulls and double full baskets, especially! I would have to say my favorite tumbling skill is a bit unusual, but I love pike punch fronts!"