Tarin Moses is the head cheerleader for the University of Florida and a member of the Zeta Tau Alpha sorority. Tarin was nice enough to do a Q&A session for the site to give us an idea of what a typical Gator Gameday is like for a Florida Gator cheerleader.
Paradigm: Tarin, so you are a cheerleader for the University of Florida, tell us a little about yourself and your background.
Tarin: Well my name is Tarin and I am a senior cheerleader for UF. My family is from Slidell, LA and we currently live in Valrico, Fl. I am the baby of three! I have an older brother and an older sister. My older brother is a 5th year baseball player at Saint Leo, and my sister was a Dazzler at UF and is currently a Miami Dolphins cheerleader. She also just got accepted into NOVA’s PA school and will be starting that soon. My mom is currently the Spirit Coordinator and Sun Doll coach at USF. Both of my parents attended LSU, where my dad was a baseball player there. My grandfather also played football for LSU.
Paradigm: How long have you been cheerleading?
Tarin: I started cheering at a very young age. I began allstar (competitive) cheerleading when I was three years old. Unlike most young girls, I never did pop warner cheerleading. I cheered in South Tampa before moving to a closer gym in Brandon. When I was in 6th grade, my mom opened a new gym in South Tampa and I cheered, danced, and did gymnastics there. In high school, I cheered for the Varsity Squad for four years and served as captain my senior year. Now I am in my fourth year as a varsity cheerleader for UF
Paradigm: So what happens during a gameday of being a cheerleader for the Florida Gators?
Tarin: I live with two other cheerleaders (Laura Warner and Morgan Palmer) so we usually get up pretty early to get ready for the game. We always have a ton of people staying at our house and all of our families come in town every weekend so our house is always very packed. After we get ready we are lucky enough to live extremely close to the stadium to walk over there. We have to be there 3 hours prior to kick-off to get everything ready and do our appearances. First we head over to Gator walk and cheer for the fans anxiously awaiting the arrival of the football team. Then we cheer on the football team during their arrival along with the band. After Gator walk, we head over to Alumni Hall where we eat our pre-game meal and do a pep-rally for the bull gators. Sometimes, we do another pep rally outside alumni hall before heading back to the stadium. A little over an hour before kick-off we stretch and warm up all of our stunts, pyramids, baskets, and tumbling. We also set up the flags and signs for pre-game. Then we do pre-game, cheer the game, and sing the Alma Mater and fight song with the band at the end!
Paradigm: College GameDay has selected the Florida Gator – South Carolina Gamecock game as it’s location for last weekend. Have you performed on a College GameDay before in Gainesville? What’s it like to perform on College Gameday?
Tarin: Prior to this weekend, I performed on college game day my freshman year at the SEC championship in Atlanta. The only thing I remember about it was that it was FREEZING cold and my hands were numb! This past weekend college gameday was perfect! The weather was amazing and the fans really did an awesome job with the signs. Reading the fans creative signs is always my favorite part! I even kept a few Jeff Driskel signs at the end to give him!
Paradigm: The Gators are undefeated. What’s it like to go to school at the University of Florida and live in Gainesville when everything is going so well for the football team?
Tarin: There is definitely more hype around campus now that our season is going so well. We have some of the best fans in the nation all of the time, but the school spirit has really been upped the last month or so. I see more people wearing the shirts they get when picking up student tickets. I just saw someone wearing the Beat LSU shirt that was given out today!
Paradigm: How much interaction do you have with the team during the games? We see the cheerleaders celebrate with the team after wins when they sing the fight song but what else goes on behind the scenes?
Tarin: Not much! A lot of the cheerleaders have really good friends on the team and the boys will wave at them or give them a hug during gator walk but that is about it. I’m also on the other side of the field than our football team so I’m not sure if orange team interacts but I can’t imagine they do. The boys are usually pretty focused, and we have a job ourselves to do, but after the game they always come over and sing the alma mater and fight song with us.
Paradigm: Thanks Tarin for your time and insight on what it’s like to cheer for UF. Go Gators!