Ambitious Achievers: Lisa Fishbein (Miami Dolphins Cheerleader)

8 minutes

[MUSIC PLAYING]

INTERPRETER: When I'm out on the field, I'm really comfortable with myself. I'm in my own little world. I don't even realize there are people out there. I'm a snail that transforms into a butterfly, and that's who I become.

[MUSIC PLAYING]

When I was younger, I really loved to dance. So I took a jazz class at one point. It was all hearing students, and I was the only deaf one. But I followed the teacher, and I did that all the way through high school. And then I became a cheerleader for the basketball games and the football games at MSSD.

[MUSIC PLAYING]

I feel more comfortable with myself when I dance. I'm a very shy person, always have been, didn't really talk to many other people, just basically my family. But wow, it's very, very different in the dance world. It really inspired more confidence in myself and I was less intimidated around other people. With sports activities, there's a lot of communication required with the team, whether you win or you lose, and a lot of activity with other people. And dance, for me, is more of an individual enterprise and it made me feel more comfortable with myself and my body.

Five, six, seven, eight.

INTERPRETER: And I'd say you need to be fully committed to be a cheerleader. It's not just looking pretty and moving around out there. You have to work really hard. You have to give 100%, all the way, to be a cheerleader.

OK. We just got there. It's out third 8-count with the hoops. I want to see it. When you guys go over, you've got to swing that arm all the way around and keep it straight.

INTERPRETER: Practices are very stressful because you're trying to make sure you get everything exactly right.

From the very first step of the routine, we know what the rest of the number's going to be.

And maybe it begins with a clap. Sometimes it begins with a jump or a twirl. So depending on which that first step is tells me what to do afterwards. And then from then on, you know what all the other moves are going to be. So there's nobody really to tell us exactly what the next number is going to be. You just follow the first step that somebody does, and then that tells you what to do the rest of the time.

[MUSIC PLAYING]

I think that the main word to describe Lisa is dedicated. She is a sweet, sweet girl. She's a very talented girl. And I think that her hard work and dedication has gotten her where she is today. I believe that game day would be one of the hardest things for Lisa overall. Game day, it's showtime. You're doing it, and when a song comes on, you're on. But for Lisa not being able to hear her captain give a cue, it's going to be hard for her. So she is always right behind her captain. That way, as soon as that captain makes that first move, she catches it. And she does a great job at it.

[MUSIC PLAYING]

INTERPRETER: Family's very important to me. My family has given me so much support over the years. Really, if it weren't for them, I wouldn't even be here. It would have been impossible, because they always encourage me to take risks and try my hardest and go for it. They always said, just go try and do what you want to do. Really, I don't think I'd even be a cheerleader if it hadn't been for my family and the support they gave me.

Well, the tryouts for the team were very competitive. I knew that all the other girls trying out were hearing and I felt they had a better chance of making it than I would. So I was really jazzed up. I was ready. I knew I had to work harder. I had to prove I was better than they were and get just as competitive as they would be. My family had encouraged me always to just go for it and do it. It was scary to come down to Florida and be on my own. In February, I came down with my mom to Florida. Of course, my mom had to come with me 'cause I didn't want to come alone. And so we got to Florida and we went to this training class, and that went from February to well into March. And then we began the audition process. So I kept going through the rounds until I made it to the finals, and then finally I got onto the team. And there were 40 who made it out of 200 at the beginning. I couldn't believe it. I just couldn't believe it. It was like a dream or something. I couldn't believe that I'd actually made it. And it was absolutely thrilled, of course.

Lisa has made it back. This is her third year. So that just shows how amazing she is, like there's always 300 girls that try out, or plus, and beautiful girls, talented girls, and it's all on your personality, on your talent, how you hold yourself, how professional you carry yourself. It's a lot of different things. And Lisa makes it through all of that three years in a row. And I believe if she tried out 10 more years, she would make it all 10 years.

[MUSIC PLAYING]

INTERPRETER: And then we do special appearances.

We did an appearance for a pediatric hospital.

They're special needs children.

We go all different sorts of places. But most of the appearances we do are to help people do fundraising.

Oh, it's great to meet people. It's a lot of fun. You know, I'm a shy person so I always felt so awkward before. I've got friends now, too. The other girls are really great.

[MUSIC PLAYING]

Being on the team, that's what I'm most proud of. Well, I'm deaf. I mean, how many other deaf girls get a chance to be on a team like this? I do it because I love cheerleading. And when I'm doing it, it feels great.


Now Playing As: Captioned (English)

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In this segment, Lisa Fishbein describes her experiences as a cheerleader who is deaf. Lisa cheers for the Miami Dolphins. She has always been involved in athletics, and she believes this helps with her self-confidence. She discusses the time commitment and requirements for making the team. Part of the "Career Stories of Individuals Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing: Ambitious Achievers (Vol. 5)" series.

Media Details

Runtime: 8 minutes

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Episode 1
3 minutes
Grade Level: 4 - 8
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Episode 2
5 minutes
Grade Level: 4 - 8
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Episode 3
4 minutes
Grade Level: 4 - 8
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Episode 4
4 minutes
Grade Level: 4 - 8
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Episode 5
5 minutes
Grade Level: 4 - 8
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Episode 6
4 minutes
Grade Level: 6 - 8
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Episode 7
4 minutes
Grade Level: 4 - 8
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Episode 8
5 minutes
Grade Level: 4 - 8
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Episode 9
3 minutes
Grade Level: 6 - 9
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Episode 10
5 minutes
Grade Level: 4 - 8