Dance has always been a huge part of Jorie Brown’s life, having been a part of dance teams from the Toronto Raptors to the Argos. The 29-year-old Communications Studies graduate from York University is now the head coach, choreographer and coordinator for the Toronto Argos cheerleaders…
Elevator Pitch: Describe your job in a nutshell.
I will be entering my 3rd season as the head coach, choreographer and coordinator for the Toronto Argos Cheerleaders! My job has allowed me to combine my passion for dance, love of sports, and desire to motivate and inspire, under one umbrella (or one big Rogers Centre dome!). Off the field I am busy scheduling community and charitable appearances for the cheerleaders, working on appropriate sponsorships, producing our annual calendar, mentoring our Jr cheerleader program, and encouraging the ladies on my team to be the absolute best ambassadors for our city! This year also marks the 100th Grey Cup in Toronto. I am ecstatic to be in charge of planning all cheerleader related events surrounding the festival.
Why did you start working at your company? What was the inspiration for this career route?
Dance has always played a large part of my life and my identity from a very young age. From 2002-2005 I was a cheerleader with the Argos, however I continued to maintain my relationship with the organization even while working and dancing for the Toronto Raptors, several recording artists, and dance teams long after. I was often asked to mentor the existing Argos Cheerleader team and do some choreography as well. When the head coach position became available I knew I was destined to take this team to a NEW LEVEL and return back to where it all started for me- With the Double Blue!
What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
Being part of the Canadian Football League has allowed me to travel and see places in Canada I wouldn’t have normally travelled to outside of this job. From a creative perspective it is always amazing to see my choreography and visions come to life on such a large scale; on field! Every rehearsal I am driven and passionate about motivating my dancers, getting them into their best shape both physically and mentally, and molding them into confident, positive role models. It is of course a great feeling to give back to the community on a daily basis. The cheerleaders are extremely active in the community participating in countless meaningful charity events around the GTA.
By far the most challenging part of my job is combating the stereotypes surrounding cheerleaders. I have heard them all! I truly pride myself on selecting girls who are poised, well spoken, and most importantly educated. I have/had girls that are/were lawyers, teachers, engineers, journalists, knesiologists, to name a few. I am like a proud mom!
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I am always pushing myself creatively to bring my team to the next level. Similar to the elite status of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders I would love my team to be recognized and respected in the same manner around North America. On a more personal level I would love to see my vision of a dance studio come to life while continuing my side job as a television host (on BPM:TV- Canada’s first and only dance channel!) and producing some new dance and music related shows.
What does success look like to you?
Recognizing there is something you are good at and truly passionate for and making a career out of it. Success means an equal balance of all the things I value important in life; hard work, health, meaningful friendships and a sense of purpose. Work hard, play hard.
What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
Being involved with the CFL for over 10 years has allowed me to work alongside some amazing artists such as Shania Twain, Black Eyed Peas, Brian Adams, Tragically hip and others. My most memorable experience however was speaking to a group of elementary school girls at an anti bullying assembly. Bullying occurs in all shapes, sizes and genders. It was amazing and rewarding to see what an impact my short presentation had on these young girls and their self esteem. I was bombarded with students wanting to share their experiences with bullying and hoping to reach out for advice.
Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Set goals, work diligently, but always stay modest and keep your ego in check.
Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
As part of a professional sports organization I have been fortunate to get involved with numerous charities such as Easter Seals, Canadian Cancer Society, Dreams Take Flight, Sick Kids, as well as educational programs such as Level The Playing Field and Huddle Up Against Bullying. As role models and city ambassadors, it is important for the cheerleaders to give back to the community and society at large.
What to you is notable?
1)The 100th Grey Cup in Toronto.
2) @argoscheer (our twitter account!)
3) Argos home opener on July 7th
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