Darius Robinson-Singleton, a cheerleader at Clovis High School, keeps a grueling schedule, has a plan for the future, and a desire to help others. As the only male on his cheer squad, Robinson provides the muscle for lifts and catches.
Robinson resides with his grandparents in Clovis, where he has lived most of his life.
When did you become interested in cheerleading?
When I was in the first grade I saw the movie “Bring it on.” It’s a movie about cheer and I thought it looked interesting with all the flips and gymnastics.
When did you start cheerleading?
My sophomore year I moved to Orlando, Fla., to stay with my mom for a year. I started cheering there at Lake Nona High School. I was the first male cheerleader at the school.
Why didn’t you pursue cheer earlier?
I kept second guessing myself. I wanted to do cheer in the seventh-grade but I backed out. It’s a female-dominated sport and I didn’t know how I would be treated by my peers. I just needed a push from my best friend — she pushed me to do it.
When you started cheer, did you have any qualifications?
No. But I started going to a gymnastics gym in Orlando and I pursued it when I came back here.
When you came back to Clovis did you have to try out for the team?
Yes. I sent in a tryout video because I wasn’t going to be back in Clovis in time for tryouts. Three weeks later I got an email saying I was on the team.
What’s your schedule like?
Besides going to school, I work 10 hours a week. I was working 22 (hours) until basketball season started. Right now I cheer two nights a week and practice three times a week. I go to church on Sunday and Wednesday and do homework in my spare time. Every second Thursday, I go to Kiwanis with my grandma. I’m never not busy. I’m always doing something.
What motivates you to hang out at the Kiwanis club?
They do a lot of really great stuff to help kids. They host the Children, Youth and Families Department Christmas party every year for foster kids. I was in foster care for two years, because of my dad’s ways, and I know what it’s like. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.
Are you going to college?
Yes. I want to major in exercise and sports science, with a minor in business. I want to have my own all-star tumbling gym for cheer and coach high school and college age kids.
— Compiled by CMI staff writer Tonjia Rolan