Demante VaughnParkour master

Tumbling and jumping onto rooftops, edges, and just about any other landmark in sight, sophomore Demante Vaughn finally makes it to cheer practice. Hanging out behind the bleachers, he manages to defy gravity by doing numerous run-up-the wall stunts. Landing them perfectly, he agrees to do five more, shrugging as if it’s no big deal. “I started doing parkour earlier this year with friends and decided to go out so I could get better at flips and tumbles,” he said. For those of us who aren’t familiar with the term, parkour is the act of using any bodily movements (jumping, climbing) to overcome obstacles such as fences, railings and walls. It involves free spirit and the will power to move from one spot to another as directly and freely as possible. Doing this in his free time, Vaughn began by watching gymnastics videos. As he improved, he chose to get some technical help from the Ames High cheerleaders and the coaches by joining the team. This decision was a mighty one. Being the only male cheerleader on the squad, Vaughn receives a fair amount of attention from the upperclassmen chicas. He performs many stunts with the girls: lifting them up, helping to spot and keeping them balanced. One downside, though, he admits, “Sometimes they talk about girly things and I feel left out…” However, having a new circle of friends is never a bad thing. Nevertheless, Vaughn’s sport life is not limited to cheerleading. As an active football player, he plays the defensive line, running back, and linebacker positions on the Ames High Football Team, but prefers the defensive line. His goal for the next season is to attain six tackles per game. Although he favors football without a doubt, Vaughn’s future performances may be seen more in cheerleading. During performances at games, he tends to improvise his moves, as opposed to having a routine planned ahead. Although he enjoys it more, he strongly hopes never to mess up and fall down. “Basically, I just wait for it to come. I like to go with the flow, do whatever feels right.” Vaughn said. When it comes to the real life, Vaughn lives it up spontaneously and on the edge. His advice to all the students of Ames High: “If it doesn’t kill you, try it.”