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Porter looks on the bright side

Fort Dodge’s senior all-state cheerleader hasn’t let pandemic keep her spirits down

Submitted photo Fort Dodge's Alaina Porter was a two-time high school All-American in competitive cheer.

Alaina Porter’s hectic spring schedule transformed into an extended time of reflection almost overnight.

The diligent Fort Dodge senior readily admits the culture shock that came with the COVID-19 global pandemic — and this two-month period of adjustment — hasn’t been easy. Porter has decided to make the most of it, though, as she prepares for the next chapter in her educational journey at Iowa State University.

“I’m really sad to be missing out of stuff that I’ve been looking forward to all year, especially my senior-year musical, senior prom, and our cheer banquet,” Porter said. “I honestly didn’t take it very well at first, but I’m doing better now.

“I’m just sad that we don’t get to say goodbyes to our teachers and our classmates, and have any closure for this school year.”

Porter has been named an All-American prep cheerleader twice during her time as a Dodger. During her sophomore year, Fort Dodge captured the Class 4A state championship in both the co-ed team and timeout divisions.

“I am very proud to have been a part of such an amazing program and carry on it’s great traditions,” said Porter, who will graduate with an overall grade point average of 3.9. “I have had so many great experiences, like winning state with my comp team sophomore year, and have made so many unforgettable memories along the way.

“When you’re a senior in cheer, you become sort of a leader for the younger cheerleaders. I really tried to embrace that responsibility by making friends with the underclassmen in order to both make them feel welcome into our program and to make the most out of my last year of cheer.”

While the effort that went into both sideline and competitive cheer was overwhelming in stretches, Porter enjoyed both the rewards and the memories along the way.

“It can get a little exhausting at times for sure, but I think it’s worth it,” said Porter, the daughter of Roger and Amy Porter. “Sideline cheering and competitive cheering are so different, but there are many things that I enjoy about both.

“People don’t realize how much time and work goes into putting together a solid competitive routine. (The Dodger program is) like a family, and we cheer because we want to support our school and make memories with each other.”

Porter has also been involved in the FDSH musical, A Capella choir, Speech Club, Dodger Senate, Freshman Ambassadors, and is a member of National Honor Society. This past fall, she was recognized as a 2019 Iowa All-State Choir honoree.

Porter is holding out hope that the senior graduation ceremony, now rescheduled for July 26 at Dodger Stadium, will take place.

“I think my class would greatly appreciate a commencement ceremony,” Porter said. “So much was taken away from us this year, and it would nice to at least have a graduation to celebrate our high school years.”

Porter called Fort Dodge “an awesome community.”

“I’m so glad that I grew up and went to school here,” Porter said. “Everyone just supports each other here, and I’m grateful to be a part of that.

“Once a Dodger, always a Dodger.”

TIMEOUT WITH ALAINA PORTER

Vacation destination: New York.

People I would like to have dinner with: Ashley from BestDressed on YouTube. She has my dream career.

It would surprise people that I: am at my sewing machine almost everyday just making random clothing and things.

My sports role model: The Navarro College Cheer team.

My everyday role model: my mom.

I can’t go a day without: iced coffee.

Nickname: AP.

Superstition: I oddly have so many, but one is that I have to check my alarms like three times before I go to bed to make sure they’re on.

Favorite road trip: driving to California with my family a few years ago.

What are you listening to right now? One Direction, and I’m not even ashamed of it.

Favorites…

Team: Iowa State Cyclones.

Class: Choir.

Movie: I have way too many favorites, but ‘The Proposal’ is like my “feel good” movie.

Book or Magazine: “The Fault in Our Stars.”

Phone app: Netflix or Instagram.

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