Student introduces stomp and shake team to GSU

Many sporting and extra-curricular activities are available to all students at Grambling state University.

These activities include, but are not limited to, foot- ball, basketball, volleyball, softball, baseball, tennis, bowling, dance, cheerleading and more!

Jayla Fitch, a 19-year-old freshman, made it her mis- sion to create something that will give people the opportu- nity to have fun and be more engaged. Although there is

a cheerleading team already, she decided to introduce a different version of cheer- leading to Grambling called stomp and shake.

stomp and shake cheer originated with African Americans. The traditional cheer consists of tumbling, stunting, jumping, and chanting. On the other hand, stomp and shake consists of mainly dancing and chanting. Although they are different in a way, both teams have

the same goal which is to motivate their sports team

and sports observers. she has named this up and coming team “Red hot.”

Fitch started cheering her freshman year of high school in 2016.

“I started cheering be- cause as black people, I feel like there’s always something more. Our culture is very diverse, and this is something that excites me,” Fitch said.

Fitch felt as though people at her high school were not taking stomp and shake seriously, so she decided to take it to another level and introduce it to an hBcU.

“It was like a waste of time, I wanted people to start caring and to start being more engaged,” Fitch said. “Maybe if more people were engaged, we would start win- ning better.”

Jayla stated that she chose to introduce stomp and shake to cheer because Grambling’s motto is “Where everybody is somebody.”

“I would have tried out for regular cheer, but I know I wouldn’t have been satisfied and I know other people that have done stomp and shake,” Fitch said.

Fitch encourages people to get involved in the activity where there could be a num- ber of benefits.

“This would help a lot of people,” she said. “For exam- ple, I have a lot of plus size girls on my team, so I want people to see that anyone can do anything.”

This is a great opportu- nity for people to be more engaged with Grambling. especially for people without the skills that you need for tra- ditional cheer. In a team, Fitch said she looks for people who are energetic, outgoing, sassy, willing to adapt to change, super fierce and feisty.

“This is something like singing, you just have to have it,” Fitch said. “It doesn’t matter what you look like, where you are from. You
just have to have that certain thing about you that makes you unique.”

she said she picked twen- ty-four girls this year because all of those girls had some- thing unique about them that interested her.

Fitch’s plans and goals for Red hot this year is to have showcases, mini performanc-

es on campus and other places. Most importantly, they will cheer at the games in the stands for all sports.

After Fitch graduates, she still plans to coach the team for a while until she finds someone to take over. she hopes to keep this team going so it can be a part of history.

she said she had many obstacles to face. Many peo- ple had many questions and concerns.

“The older generation is wondering and asking what stomp and shake means and how it’s going to benefit Grambling,” Fitch said. “I had to keep going over these questions and sometimes it would make me lose faith because our grandparents did not grow up with this, so they don’t understand, and they are not used to it.”

Fitch gives a word of advice to hopeful participants who wish to join the new team.

“To anyone that is inter- ested in auditioning for next year’s team, I would definitely say to be yourself and as black women I know that we are capable.” 

Stomp and shake should be an outlet for us to get some emotion out, be loud, be proud, be who you are, shake how you want to shake. “Remember to put your heart and passion into it because other people can see that and it might inspire someone else,” Fitch said.

Jayla Fitch says stomp and shake is about heart and passion, a way to get emotion out and to become more engaged.