WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WGHP) – Members of the Winston-Salem State University Powerhouse Red and White cheerleaders were featured in the music video for Ciara’s new song “JUMP.”
The Powerhouse and its coaches, NeSheila Washington and Tevin Allen, all flew 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 a little Hollywood magic, the set was transformed, and the team was brought to hair and makeup to prepare for the day. “They had a different crew member assigned to each cheerleader. Seeing crew members come out throughout the day to touch up makeup or provide little water bottles with straws was so cool. It made me feel like and a proud mother to see all that is happening.”
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 I’ve watched 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 here was very inspiring. I wanted to be a backup dancer since I was very young. I come from a small town, so the dance programs were not great. Being so busy and focusing on my school work at WSSU made me feel like I could never achieve my dream of being a professional backup dancer. This journey and the experience of working with Ciara made me see that achieving the my dream is really possible.”
The opportunity presented itself to the team through an Instagram direct message from one of Ciara’s dancers who saw the team online and thought it would be a great fit for the song.
“Ciara’s team was fantastic. The thing that impressed me the most is that they had seen 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 they occupy during the Powerhouse routines,” Washington said.
Despite the opportunity of a lifetime that presented itself, the Powerhouse has always maintained a priority over its 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 it all day, and still being able to do a great job with my courses made me feel like everything is possible. We did one of our finals in an Uber on the way to the beach. We always have to make sure we plan and that school is our first priority.”
The video for “JUMP” can be viewed on YouTube and the song is available on most music streaming platforms.