Dennis Rodman once said, “Chemistry is a class you take in high school or college, where you figure out two plus two is ten, or something.”
Something tells me if Yalea, a Titans Cheerleader with super-veteran status, were his teacher, he would have learned a whole lot more.
While it may be hard to believe for some (and a dream come true for others), Yalea’s outfit changes have quite the range going from a super skimpy light blue Titans Cheerleading uniform on Sunday home games to her typical lab coat and goggles during the day where she spends her time as a high school chemistry teacher and varsity cheerleading coach.
You might recognize Yalea on the Titans sidelines either from her huge smile, her jet-black shiny hair, or the fact she’s taller than all the other girls, standing proudly at 5-feet-10-inches.
So yeah, Yalea is actually taller than WR Devon Wylie (#19) who is 5-9, and is the same height as three other players on the Titans roster: RB Collin Mooney (#42), DB Alterraun Verner (#20) and WR Kendall Wright (#13) — all heights according to the current Titans Roster.
Or actually, you may notice her out of the beautifully star-studded lineup of Titans Cheerleaders because of her abs of steel, having been voted the “best abs” of 2012 by the rest of her Titans Cheerleaders. “I’m always super proud of my abs of steel,” Yalea gushes.
“I love staying in shape. I’m always going to bootcamps, running and everything else because I love maintaining a great physique,” the abs winner says. “I just got into running 5ks. I’m working my way up to the marathons, but a good 5k is quick and easy!”
Though Yalea has been a glorious Titans Cheerleader for three years, she, like all the others, still gets nervous walking out at LP Field. But I love her approach; it reminds me of an elite athlete knowing they’ve been blessed with a talent and unique opportunity. “I love every game and treat it like it could be my last and perform like it’s my first. I get crazy butterflies but have a blast during the entire day,” she explains.
As someone who lives in Houston, I can’t have a conversation with Yalea without bringing up the Texans/Oilers/Titans. “I would say our biggest rival has to be the Houston Texans just because of the history between both the city and our franchise. Every time we play them if it’s home or away you can always see both sides wearing their jerseys and if you’re anywhere watching a game you can feel it in the air,” she says of the rivalry.
Before you go judging her for having practically every Disney soundtrack on her iPod (which seems to be a theme among NFL Cheerleaders), she’s quicker to call herself a nerd than you are to think it. Aside from her array of musical choices, Yalea has more degrees that I have running shoes. “I have a BS in Biomedical Science, a Masters in Public Health and a Masters in Teaching. I’m pretty much the biggest science geek of all time,” she laughs, but in complete seriousness.
And my new tall friend Yalea is far from being the only highly educated woman on her team. “I think the biggest misconception about NFL Cheerleaders is that we’re stupid. That drives me crazy. My team specifically has PhD candidates, CPAs, nurses, teachers, and more. We have such a variety and I love learning from everyone,” she says.