WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WGHP) — Members of the Winston-Salem State University Powerhouse Red and White cheerleaders starred in the music video for Ciara’s new song “JUMP.”
The Powerhouse and their coaches, NeSheila Washington and Tevin Allen, all flew out to Los Angeles for the shoot in the early spring.
“When the sun came up, it looked like we were in New York City,” Washington said. With some Hollywood magic, the set transformed, and the team was whisked away to hair and make-up to prepare for the day. “They had a different crew member assigned to each cheerleader. Seeing crew members swoop in throughout the day to touch up make-up or provide little water bottles with straws was so cool. It made me feel like a proud mom watching all of this happen.”
The experience was a dream come true for the Powerhouse.
Dance Captain Destiny Martin said, “my background is in dance, not cheer. Seeing all the dancers that I’ve been watching on Instagram since middle school was incredible. Being in the studio with these dancers was amazing. It was also great to see that these professional dancers started exactly where we are and now have successful careers.”
Red Team Captain William Johnson said, “being there was very inspiring. I’ve wanted to be a backup dancer since I was very young. I come from a small town, so the dance programs there were not great. Being so busy and focusing on my schoolwork at WSSU made me feel that I may never achieve my dream of being a professional backup dancer. This trip and the experience working with Ciara made me see that achieving my dream is really possible.”
The opportunity presented itself to the team via an Instagram direct message from one of Ciara’s dancers who saw the team online and thought they would be a great fit for the song.
“Ciara’s team was fantastic. The thing that impressed me most is that they had watched our videos on Instagram and TikTok and were very familiar with our moves. They even knew each of the cheerleaders’ names and the positions that they usually held during Powerhouse routines,” Washington said.
Despite the opportunity of a lifetime presenting itself, the Powerhouse still kept a priority on their academics first.
“We went to LA during finals week.” Cheerleader Tiffany Jacobs said, “I woke up at 5 a.m. to take a final exam. Waking up early, being on set all day, and still being able to do a great job with my coursework made me feel like anything is possible. We did one of our finals in an Uber on the way to the beach. We always have to make sure to plan and to have school be our number one priority.”
The video to “JUMP” can be watched on YouTube and the song is available on most music-streaming platforms.