Occupation: student, library assistant
Date of Performance/Collection: April 14, 2015
Primary Language: English
So this is a team ritual for the St. Champion Outlaws, my old cheer team:
Every year before Nationals, we would get a penny of that year… our coach would give us a brand new penny of that year and the coach would get it done and like drill 2 holes in the side. And we would unlace our shoes and put it on the top of our right shoe (demonstrates to the front part) so you can see it… so imagine your shoes are laced, it’s on the top right of your shoe. So, we always prayed before we’d go on for health and safety on the floor and we’d all put our right foot in, which is the foot with the lucky penny.
How long has this been a team tradition?
I know it’s been for years… maybe a parent or one of the coaches thought it was cute. I think originally it was a penny on a necklace, but then they realized you can’t wear jewelry for competitions, so we laced it in our shoes. It’s like a lucky penny.
Why do you think they’ve kept it going all these years?
Um…it’s just a good luck thing and then it became a superstitious tradition.
My roommate told me this tradition when I asked her if she had any folklore. At first, she insisted “Asian people don’t have that.” But, after I explained what folklore was and that rituals and superstition counts. She told it to me one-on-one and I already knew competitive cheer was a huge part of her life.
A physical reminder before the competition of all the work put into the year serves as an important ritual. It clearly meant a lot to her and I know she is still in contact with her teammates and coaches. Plus, it is a great souvenir for after Nationals.