Cheerleader, dancer, model proves that he can compete with the girls


Zeta Handy

Junior Micheal Ortega streches before a workout routine. Ortega stays busy with his involvement on the cheerleading team, private gymnastic lessons.

Zeta Handy, Staff Writer

Junior Michael Ortega is a busy student, dividing his time between gymnastics, dance, cheerleading, cosmetology and modeling.

Michael has a very hectic schedule having to go from cheer practice to gymnastics in one night, eating a meal during car rides while on his way to the Star Center where he trains for gymnastics.

“I used to be in gymnastics when I was younger. I never competed but I really did like the sport but around freshmen year I wanted to go back to it and I’ve been in it since then,”Ortega said.

When it come to extracurricular activities, he’s tried other sports like football, basketball, soccer, etc. But he didn’t feel as committed as he does with gymnastics, dance, and modeling. On an average week he has dance on B days cheer practice twice a week along with gymnastics practice four days a week.

While Ortega is involved in various activities that are typically associated with girls, Ortega is not afraid of breaking down barriers. He said being a male cheerleader challenges him to work to prove that it’s not just a sport for women.

“I do get little more attention because I’m the only male but I do have to work a little harder because the crowed looks at me because I don’t have pom-poms and also because I’m a male,” Ortega said.

During his freshmen year he wanted to be a cheerleader but he never tried out. He tried out to be the school mascot Akie the Eagle. He did like it but he decided that he wanted to be a part of the cheer squad instead.

When he is not busy competing, Ortega said he enjoys doing cosmetology because it helps him relax.

“I used to watch my mom put on her makeup when I was younger and that’s how I learned,” Ortega said.

He’s been on the cover of Teen Influential, which is a magazine publication that features teen life interest He has also done photoshoots along with casting auditions. Something about the camera makes him feel comfortable, he said.

As all this is happening how many hours does he put into all these activities a week “to0 many hours” he likes to say. Just recently overcame a big injury “were a piece of my knee bone broke off with a piece of a ligament but it’s going to reattach to my scar tissue” from one of his extracurriculars one of his teachers Georgiana Morel who teaches creative writing says “ how are you still walking” because all that he does he doesn’t have time to let his body properly rest.

“There were times when I felt I couldn’t handle it but I love it all to give up on it I found a way handle it all.”Ortega said