From CDS to the Buccaneers: An Alumni Story
Ava Rosen, Class of 2021

Ava Rosen, a proud alumna of Carrollwood Day School's Class of 2021 and currently a student at the University of Tampa, has achieved a remarkable milestone in her young career. She is now donning the prestigious Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cheerleader uniform. We caught up with Ava as she shared her inspiring journey, reflecting on the lessons learned at CDS that have contributed to her success as a performer and a member of the Buccaneers Cheerleading squad.

Can you share your journey from being a CDS student to becoming a Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cheerleader? What motivated you to pursue this path?

I always loved my time at CDS. The teachers, the school spirit, and the team we all were as students and a school. I have always wanted to be a Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cheerleader. The team aspect and school spirit are something I wanted to continue with my added love for dance. Preparedness and optimism motivated me to pursue this path. The drive and dedication I learned in being a student at CDS, then in college, and last year auditioning for my dream.

What specific skills or experiences from your time at Carrollwood Day School do you feel have been helpful now as a Bucs Cheerleader?

CDS has taught me many lessons. From my time in preschool to a senior in high school, CDS taught me work ethic. To work hard and to give 100% in everything that I do is something I practice every day. From the countless projects and essays, working hard and being prepared are qualities I will continue for the rest of my life. My time at CDS was a busy time in my life. Going from school to the dance studio taught me how to manage my time. The drive to the studio would be my homework time because most nights I would get home around 11 p.m. Another skill I learned at CDS was connecting with the teachers. I always made sure that I clarified the assignment’s instructions and asked if there was anything I could add or fix to my essays. Getting to know your teachers is a great way to set you up for success in understanding what they are looking for in a good student.

Can you describe the audition process and the challenges you faced in becoming a part of the Buccaneers Cheerleading team?

The audition process was lengthy. It took me two years to try out, making it the second year. When I auditioned the first year, I had no idea what I was getting in for, I just wanted to see how far I could go. I made it to the final round and got cut after that. Auditioning that first year was such an amazing experience because the next year, I was ready to jump in and give it all I had. I prepared more than ever, training with a company that trains people for NFL and professional dance opportunities. I also trained with my dance coach who was an alumnus for the team. Going into auditions for a second year, I knew what to expect. I knew that I wanted it. I knew I was prepared and I just left the rest of the process up to the universe. Getting that call was probably the highlight of my life. I have always told myself that I may not be the best dancer in the room but I’m the hardest working one. Hard work paid off and I still can’t believe that I get to do this for a job.

How does it feel to represent the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and engage with the community as a cheerleader? What impact do you hope to make?

To represent this billion-dollar organization is something so special. Not only being an ambassador for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers but being more involved with the community that I call home is something so special. To be a voice for women in sports and to bring the Krewe together on and off the season is a dream of mine come true. Being a Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cheerleader is more than just a dancer on the sidelines, we are bringing the stadium together. We are welcoming fans and giving them a place to call home. We are bringing joy to people who need to escape life's stress. We are the community of Tampa Bay and it is an honor to be a part of this company. The impact I hope to make is to bring the togetherness of what it means to be a team and to bring excellence to every practice, appearance, and game. I want to be someone a little Buccaneer can look up to and be that role model that I saw when I was younger. To dance professionally is something so rare so the impact I want to leave is to work hard and to really strive for what you want in life.

Are there any memorable lessons or moments from your time at CDS that have had a lasting influence on your journey and personal growth, both as a performer and as a member of the Buccaneers Cheerleading squad?

To never give up. Every experience is a rollercoaster. There will be ups and there will be downs but with the right mindset, you can achieve anything. My time at CDS made me the person I am today. Being a good student means putting in the work because nothing ever came easy to me whether that’s school or dance. I had to work for everything, tutor, and ask for help in order to be prepared. I learned at CDS that you always have people around you and that you are not alone. Being a student and now a professional dancer has taught me so much and there is always more to learn. Life is a learning process but you always have to be willing to learn to get the most out of life.

We are so proud to call Ava a CDS Alumni and can't wait to catch a glimpse of her on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers field. Do you have an alumni update? Email us! We'd love to feature you.