BRUSLY —- Nicholls State University student Robyn Lavigne accomplished a childhood dream of joining the official entertainment team for Louisiana’s pro football franchise.
Thanks to her 14 years of dance experience and relentless work ethic, Lavigne earned a spot on the New Orleans Saints Cheer Krewe.
Lavigne’s dance journey began at nine years old at Brittany’s School of Dance in Port Allen. She said her mom Kim Lavigne enrolled her in dance to help her get over extreme shyness.
“That’s very late to start dancing,” Robyn said. “I started at nine and ended up being pretty good.”
It wasn’t until she reached 11 or 12 that she and others began to notice her potential.
Robyn attended Brusly High but decided to join the cheerleading squad instead of the dance team because dancing was already a big part of her life outside school.
Before arriving at Nicholls, Robyn said she didn’t plan to join the dance team; she would be a cheerleader. However, on the day dance registration ended, she tried out on “a whim.”
“I remember I had (senior) prom and couldn’t even go to the after-party and hang out with my friends because I knew I had an audition the next day,” she recalled. “At eight in the morning, I had to be in Thibodaux dancing, so I had to miss that.”
Robyn rose to captain of the Nicholls dance team in her sophomore year.
She said joining the Saints Cheer Krewe was something that has interested her for a while, and when the Saints held three workshops leading up to the official tryouts, she said she wanted to take advantage of the workshops to see if this was something she should pursue.
“I’ve always dreamt about doing it, but then I always had this fear in the back of my head like, well, what if I just tried it out and then I absolutely hated it?” she stated. “I went to the workshop and fell in love with everything. The people, the style, I fell in love with all of it.”
Robyn said a bonus of the workshops was that those who attended learned the dance used in the tryouts.
Pursuing dreams never come without adversity. At the same time as prelims of the tryouts, she also had college nationals in Daytona, Florida. Preparing for both events required much driving back and forth from Thibodaux to New Orleans.
“I had to practice crazy for that (nationals), and then I would try and rush to the workshops so they could get used to me. All my friends were on spring break at the beach, and I stayed home. I stayed home prepared, and that weekend is when I had my first day.”
She advanced to the finalists’ training camp after surviving two cuts at tryouts.
“That’s where the real work set in,” she recalled. “It’s when all the rookies and the vets (veteran dancers) are together, and that’s when you really see some very talented people. That process was four days.”
The Cheer Krewe has 57 members, according to the roster.
After accomplishing a once-in-a-lifetime feat, she said she had to keep the secret for nearly a month.
“It was an amazing feeling,” she said. “Honestly, I still don’t know how to describe it. It was crazy because we couldn’t tell anyone for a solid month. Although it was very, very exciting, it was also a little nerve-wracking because I couldn’t tell anybody. All of my dreams came true. I’ve dreamt about this my entire life.”
Robyn will graduate in May 2024, and her goal is to become a sports entertainment attorney.
She said she wants to live out this dream as a dancer but added that her success wouldn’t have been possible without the support of someone special who has been there from the beginning.
“Hands down, none of this would be possible without my mom,” she stated. “She has sacrificed so much for me, and I don’t know what I would do without her 1,000 percent and God for sure.”