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A Homecoming Like No Other

Posted May 5, 2009

Shamea P. came out of “retirement” for the chance to be included in this year’s Calendar Shoot.

It was one year ago that Shamea P. was following the Ravens Cheerleaders first calendar shoot in Punta Cana on BaltimoreRavens.com. Many of the girls were her friends, going back to the days when she was cheering with them on the sidelines on game days. She missed her family, and she missed her friends and she missed cheering for the Ravens.

So Shamea came home. And one year later, she’s rejoined her friends for this year’s shoot.

Shamea spent four seasons cheering for Baltimore, all throughout her college career at Towson. After graduation, the independent veteran felt the need for a change of scenery.

“The first thing I wanted to do when I got out of school was just experience something different,” Shamea said. “You only have one time in your life when you can move away from home without any worries, without children, no husband, just me. It definitely was a growing experience, and something I can say I did on my own.”

Shamea moved to Jersey City right outside Manhattan, where she spent two years working for Tiffany & Company. The fast-paced environment was fun, though made her appreciate her friends back in Baltimore.

“I definitely kept up with the Ravens while I was away, “Shamea said. “Hearing about the trip from last year, I was very happy for the ladies, because we’d never had a calendar like that before. To come back on the team after being gone for so long and be a part of that is just amazing.”

So Shamea came home to an excited family, but a relatively new cheerleading team. The team had evolved in the time she was away.

I saw the [cheerleading] team was taking another direction, more toward a glamorous edge,” Shamea noted. Things like the calendar shoot were evidence of that. There were also many new girls to work with, though a few familiar faces like Leslie A. and Abbie M., still hung around.

Shamea was excited when she was selected to go on the trip this year, like all the girls. While almost everyone else had a little bit of time to observe and get ready for their shoots, Shamea’s shoot was the same day they landed in the Bahamas.

After watching Adriene kick the week off, which Shamea admitted both set the tone for the trip and set the bar high, Shamea relinquished control of her own hair and makeup, something she likes doing herself.

“The stylists were excellent and I feel that they did a good job capturing me and my personality,” Shamea said. “They have been doing a wonderful job with the cheerleaders.”

A few poses in the bushes and the watchful eye of photographer Shawn Hubbard later, and Shamea was finished.

“I got my shoot out of the way before I had time to think about it,” Shamea said after she was finished. “I can breathe and take in all the experiences and the scenery.”

Despite being finished shooting for the week, Shamea still woke up at 4 a.m. Tuesday to support her teammates. Leslie A., one of her best friends on the team, was especially touched by that.

“That was wonderful,” Leslie said. “I definitely support her. I was there for her every minute, as much as I could. It’s a family feeling on our team – especially with Shamea. She’s my best friend.”

With the hard part done, Shamea can now focus on what she really loves to do, mingle with the fans.

“I'm just excited to interact with the fans and get to know some of the new girls as well as my old teammates,” she said.

Just as important, Shamea can now take the time to reconnect with her old team and teammates. And get to know her new ones, as well.

Daily Notes

With the threat of rain for Friday, the team moved several scheduled shoots up.  Four cheerleaders shot in the morning: Leslie, Sammi Jo, Serena and Michelle with an additional four girls shooting in the afternoon: Courtney D, Dana, Cassandra and Heather...After the morning shoots, Leslie, Sammi Jo and Serena all sat down with the 98 Rock Morning Show and did live on-air interviews...Water aerobics and dance lessons in the pool were quite a hit with the hotel guests, but the most popular activity of the day by far was beach volleyball.  Many vacationers staying at the Wyndham Nassau (as well as 98 Rock's Mickey) joined in several games with many of the cheerleaders.  A large crowd surrounded the court as onlookers snapped photos and shot video.  (Team Brunette took down Team Blondie on the day.)...Tomorrow's morning shoots will take place on a golf course located down the street from the hotel.

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