April 16, 2024

 A Sit-Down with Carol Lloyd Cross – The Architect of Spirit for Memphis Cheer and Dances Triumph

 A Sit-Down with Carol Lloyd Cross – The Architect of Spirit for Memphis Cheer and Dance’s Triumph

Memphis Cheer and Dance Clinches National Championship

Amid the high-flying stunts and precise choreography, the University of Memphis cheerleading and dance teams soared to victory at the UCA & UDA College Nationals. The prestigious event, held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida, saw the Memphis cheerleaders clinch the National Championship in Division IA Small Coed, while the dance team danced their way to the top in Division IA Game Day. The teams also notched impressive Top-8 finishes across the board, including third in Dance Hip Hop, fifth in Game Day (Cheer), and seventh in Division 1A Pom.

In the aftermath of this stunning achievement, we had the privilege to sit down with the legendary Carol Lloyd Cross, Memphis Head of Spirit and Dance. With 34 years under her belt, Cross’s influence on Memphis Cheer and Dance has been profound, imprinting her unique style and swagger on the teams, synonymous with the Memphis lifestyle. Assisting Cross is Allison Andrews, a former Tiger as well who understands the importance of spirit in this program. Andrews, as well as Memphis Cheer coach, Tony Crump, who has been in the position for 10 years, speaks incredibly highly of Cross and her impact on his program.

Carol Lloyd Cross: Crafting Excellence with a Dash of Memphis Soul

Carol Lloyd Cross is a name that resonates with spirit and dedication in Memphis. Having been at the helm for over three decades, her innovative approach and understanding of the ‘Memphis style’ have been pivotal in shaping the teams’ identity.

When asked about the significance of this season to the program, Cross shared her strategic vision. “This season was a testament to our resilience and innovation. The integration of the Ambush Crew into our Pom team was a bold move that paid off, enhancing the game day experience for fans and dancers alike,” she explained. “It was a collaborative effort that has added a new dimension to our program, and I couldn’t be prouder of what we’ve achieved.”

Reflecting on the legacy of Memphis, Cross emphasized the importance of embracing evolution in dance. “The landscape of dance is constantly changing, and it’s imperative that we remain at the forefront of this transformation,” she stated. “Our program’s openness to new directions has received positive attention from our alumni and the university – it’s all about growing and adapting.”

When questioned about her legacy, Cross’s passion for coaching was evident. “It’s been an honor to lead this program for 21 years, and the most rewarding part is the journey I share with these athletes season after season,” she beamed.

Consistency and Talent: The Memphis Formula

Carol Lloyd Cross has been instrumental in maintaining the program’s consistent talent and success. She divulged the secret to this consistency is the emphasis on legacy and understanding the essence of the Memphis Dance Team. “From day one, we instill in our dancers the significance of our history and what it means to be part of our family,” Cross stated. “Our clinics and auditions are designed to convey the standards and expectations we uphold, ensuring that every season our dancers are fully aware of the goals we aim to achieve.”

The Memphis Cheer and Dance teams are a shining example of what can be accomplished with a blend of tradition and innovation, led by a coach, in Tony Crump, who not only understands the past but embraces the future. Under Carol Lloyd Cross, the Memphis spirit continues to captivate audiences and set the bar for collegiate cheer and dance programs nationwide. Cross has a career spanning 34 years and counting as she has been with Memphis for 21 and the remainder at Collierville Middle and High School in addition to the Tigers.

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