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The Cheerleader

aimee lewis
Photography by Katrina Wittkamp
aimee lewis

When I ask Aimee Lewis (née Forman) why she wanted to be a cheerleader, she half-jokingly corrects me: “I was a cheerleader for one year; I was on the pompon squad for the other years—it’s not the same thing. You don’t know the nuances of the spirit world, apparently.”

After a pithy lesson on cheerleading versus pompon—“same uniform, but pompon is more dance related”—Lewis answers: “I probably became a cheerleader because, when I went to a [D.H.S.] football game in junior high, I saw all the cheerleaders and I just knew instantly that’s what I wanted to be.” Lewis acknowledges that being on the high-school spirit squads did have its social cachet. But, she adds, “it wasn’t that I had to have the outfit and that’s where it ended. I did it because I loved it. I loved to dance and I loved performing.” 

She kept it up at the University of Iowa. “Being on the pompon squad actually defined a lot of my college life, be-cause it was intense—a lot of practices and traveling.” She cheered at the Hawkeyes football and basketball games, and even at wrestling matches. “Try to cheer for that,” she says. “You literally sit on the floor and say, ‘Pin him to the mat! Pin him to the mat!’” she recalls, chuckling. “You feel your IQ plummet. That was the only time I really felt like a bimbo.”

After college, Lewis tried out for the Luvabulls, the dance team that performs at Chicago Bulls games. She didn’t make it. “I was ten inches too short and ten pounds too heavy,” she says. Instead, she taught at an elementary school in Buffalo Grove for seven and a half years, until she became pregnant with her first child. Lewis had met her husband, Adam, also a D.H.S. graduate, at a bar on his 21st birthday; she was 23.

“I met him and he told me all about the things he was planning on doing with his life—he was going to go to law school and become a lawyer—and I thought, Now, that’s the kind of guy I want to end up with.” They married four years later and now have three children. Living in Deerfield, Lewis says, she is “completely content staying at home, doing the mom thing.” But the “cheerleader” label sticks with her, even years later. “Some people will still say things to me with a little attitude,” Lewis says. “They say things like, ‘You were a cheerleader in high school, weren’t you?’ you know, with a kind of grin on their faces. It’s definitely a shot. But to me, it was nothing but good stuff.”

 What Ever Happened to the Deerfield Class of '89? - Index

Main Story and Stats

The Valedictorian

The Jock

The Weirdo

The Newspaper Editor

The Hippie

The Cheerleader

The Nice Guy

Additional Stats [web only]
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