Sacha Heppell: Q&A with the man who tried out to be a Broncos cheerleader

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Sacha Heppell.
In the two months that 21-year-old Sacha Heppell has taken hip-hop lessons with a private dance instructor, dude has developed some serious moves. So he decided to put them to good use: Yesterday, he got footloose at tryouts for the Denver Broncos cheerleading squad. And while he expected his day to end with the straight "thanks for trying, see you next year, good luck and all" talk, it eventually ended on CNN -- but not on the team.

This morning, Heppell's Twitter account features dozens of reactions to his attempt at becoming the first male cheerleader in the squad's history. It also reaffirms his bio: "Making the most out of life." And while he's received no shortage of attention for his tryout with the squad, Heppell's most important point was made in front of his students.

The Latest Word reached out to Heppell to discuss his moves, his motivations and Madonna. Here's our Q&A:

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Sacha Heppell dances during Broncos cheerleading tryouts.
Westword: Let's start at the beginning. What inspired you to try out?

Sacha Heppell: I wanted to really prove a point to kids out there that you can follow your dreams no matter what people say. If you just choose powerfully and do what you love, no matter what, your dreams can come true. I just threw myself into the unexpected, and I'm going to use this as an example to coach the kids in my program. I work with about twenty to thirty kids at Uzeke, which is a nonprofit project of the Open Media Foundation that's a media-making and performance arts studio. I want to teach them to go after whatever they want without inhibitions, and trying out was a way for me to do that.

What drives me is that every child out there deserves a chance to be heard. You have people hurting others or being bullied or killing themselves, and I think this is kind of an example of what can happen if you just throw yourself in and don't give up. There wasn't a single moment where I questioned anything. I walked in there a Broncos cheerleader.

WW: But why dancing specifically? Why not joining the circus or riding a unicycle?<

SH: First, I strongly respect the Broncos and am a huge fan. And second, I love to dance. I love expression. I lose myself in the music. I'm not as experienced as some of the girls -- I only started hip-hop lessons a couple months ago -- but I just love it.

Page down to see a video of Sacha Heppel's tryout and to continue reading our interview.

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