Former Miss Hawaii on first year as a Kansas City Chiefs cheerleader
From the Aloha State to the Show Me State, local girl Kathryn Teruya is living out her dreams as a Kansas City Chiefs cheerleader while attending dental school. HI Now host Kanoe Gibson caught up with her to see how she and her team are gearing up for the big game.
Teruya was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii and is a graduate of Iolani School and the University of Hawaii at Mānoa. In 2017, she became the 73rd Miss Hawaii and represented the state in the Miss America Competition. After her year, she moved to Kansas City, Missouri, to start dental school. Now, a little over a year before becoming a dentist, she is also cheering for her city’s team as a Kansas City Chiefs cheerleader.
“I’ve always been a dream chaser. Honestly, I didn’t know that I would still be dancing,” she says. “But when I went to the Chiefs Cheer workshops last year, I knew that there was something incredibly special about the team and the organization.”
Auditions were virtual through the spring, so Teruya says she just gave it everything she had with no expectations.
“I’m just so grateful that they saw something in me and allowed me this amazing opportunity,” she says. “We work extremely hard, but not just dancing. Our training goes beyond that. We are always challenged to strengthen our communication skills and our football knowledge too.”
Teruya says not only is she impressed with the variety of styles the squad performs as a team, but also the range of community organizations that they are able to support.
“I don’t think people think ‘service’ when they first hear Kansas City Chiefs, but we really are all about family, community, and giving back,” she says. “This year, I have been a part of school supplies drives as well as partnerships with community centers for kids.”
Teruya says the team has become her family.
“Being a rookie this year, as unconventional of a year that it was, I felt so welcomed by the team,” she says. “Honestly, these women and men are incredibly inspiring. They are teachers, neonatal nurses, speech therapists, and that’s just to name a few. Each member of our team has such a special heart, and I’m always reminded how lucky I am to get to know each and every one of them.”
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