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Brenda Holloway - Owner and Director of Program

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Coach Brenda was born and raised in New Haven, Connecticut where she found her love for gymnastics and cheerleading at a very young age. She trained in gymnastics for five years at the UJIMA Gymnastic Center at the Dixwell Community Center, formally called the Q House. She was trained under the coaching leadership of Reginald and Tony Wilder. Coach Brenda continued on to pursue her dream of being a cheerleader in high school at Wilbur Cross High School and later at Norfolk State University in Norfolk, VA where she graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Business Finance. She is currently a member of the Norfolk State Alumni Cheerleading Chapter where she participates in fundraisers to raise funds for scholarships for undergrad cheerleaders.

Coach Brenda has seven years of coaching experience. She coached the varsity team for two years for the City of Alexandria - Nannie J. Lee Recreation Center. In 2006, Coach Brenda along with other local coaches decided to form their own all star team called, Hot Topic All Stars. She is currently the Director and Owner of the Hot Topic All Stars located in Alexandria, VA. She also is the Assistant Coach for the Hot Topic Rising Stars, Starlites and Lightning Stars and also the tumbling instructor for youth teams ages 11 and under. Coach Brenda’s motto is to always incorporate life’s experiences in teaching our girls how to be the best in everything they try to achieve. It starts with getting a great education, making good decisions and giving 100% all of the time. It’s not just about excelling in cheerleading, but also excelling in life! Also, making the best out of every situation and looking for God for guidance and direction. Throughout Brenda’s life, she has overcame many obstacles that could have broken her spirit for good, but through God’s grace and a strong foundation, she was able to make some new decisions in her life and start to give back to the youth and teens in the City of Alexandria, Virginia. This new experience in her life has
been very rewarding and she continues to give back in every way possible.

Coach Brenda currently works for the City of Alexandria as the Assistant Director for the Therapeutic Recreation Program. She supervises programs that are geared towards the special needs population in the City of Alexandria. She currently is a part of the City of Alexandria, City-Wide Cheerleading Program committee. With her experience as an All-Star Cheerleading Director, Brenda would like to bring the same type of program to the youth and teens in New Haven, CT.

With knowledge and experience, she envisions all the possibilities and dreams that can be awoken, if this program is able to move forward in the near future. Brenda has seen it first hand, how doing something you truly love can change your life for the better. “I have seen some of my HT Alumni cheerleaders transformed right before my eyes and it’s a great feeling.”  “I have several cheerleaders that have moved on to college and they still contact me whenever they need me or just to say hello.” “My most important purpose in life is to make a major impact in a person’s life and to sow a seed that will last a lifetime.”

Iyona Hawkins-Director of Cheer

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Awesome, incredible, a perfectionist is some of the character traits that would best describe Coach Yona. She really enjoys coaching and setting positive examples for the youth that she serves. Coach Yona has over 15 years of cheerleading and dance experience. She started cheering at the age of 3 at Nannie J. Lee Recreation Center in Alexandria, VA and continued cheering until the age of 14. She also took tap and ballet at Sudo Dance Company in Langley Park, MD for 3 years and ventured to Footsteps Dance Company in Washington, DC for 3 years.

At the Age of 14, Coach Yona wanted to explore other aspects of cheerleading. She asked her mother, Tanya Banks, if it was possible to take over the Junior Varsity squad at Nannie J. Lee Recreation Center. Her mother without a doubt granted Coach Yona her first opportunity at coaching. In her first year of coaching, Coach Yona’s creative and innovative routine won her, her first City-wide cheerleading championship. From then her career as a Coach excelled. She continued to be very successful at the Recreational level, winning two back to back City-wide Junior Varsity cheerleading championships, and one City-wide Varsity cheerleading championship. Coach Yona felt that her Recreation team could handle competing in other cheerleading competitions, so she took them to the “Reach the Beach” competition in Ocean City, MD and pulled out a 1st place win. Her team then advanced to Chicago, IL where they competed in a NCA National Championship and won 1st place.

In 1998, Coach Yona went off to college and her cheerleading career was at a stand- still. After graduating college, Coach Yona was asked to return back to Nannie J. Lee Recreation Center as the Head Coach for the Junior Varsity cheerleading squad. That is where she met Brenda Holloway, who at that time was the Head Coach for Nannie J. Lee’s Varsity squad. At that time, she started her recruiting process. She led her team to a second place victory. Using her dynamic ability and creativity, Coach Yona went back to the drawing board and came back the next season and won yet another City-wide 1st place cheerleading championship. She then had a vision along with Brenda Holloway and Shenika Farmer to create the Hot Topic All Stars. Through determination, drive and commitment, Hot Topic All Stars has continued to prevail and grow larger and stronger as the years go by.

Currrently, Coach Yona is one of the Co-owners of Hot Topic All Stars (HT) and she serves as the Head Coach of the Junior Level 2 “Lightning Stars!” She is also the Director of Cheer. In her spare time from HT, Coach Yona coaches the Pee-Wee cheerleading squad at Charles Houston Recreation Center in Alexandria, VA.

Coach Yona’s motto is “Success is not giving to us, we have to earn it. Practice is our competition, so come topractice with a purpose and at the end the day, we just have to show up and receive our awards.” Coach Yona isa graduate of one of the most prestigious historically Black Universities, Bethune-Cookman University. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. In her personal life Coach Yona loves to shop, spend time with her family and friends, crack jokes and play with her lovable Yorkie, Mocha!

Shenika Farmer-Director of Cheer

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Coach Shenika was born and raised in the City of Alexandria, where she was involved in many sports activities including cheerleading for 10 years.

Shenika started her coaching career years ago helping out as a volunteer parent working with a motivated group of cheerleaders for the City of Alexandria Recreation Program in Alexandria, Virginia. She coached cheerleaders from 5 – 16 years of age. Coach Shenika has won numerous coaching awards for her leadership and dedication to City of Alexandria Cheerleading program, including Best Coach award in 2005.

After many outstanding seasons, serving the City of Alexandria Recreation program as a Head Coach, Coach Shenika decided to move on to the Hot Topic All Stars Organization in 2006. Coach Shenika now serves as Director of Cheer, Head Coach and Choreographer for Hot Topic All Stars.

Shenika has an exceptional understanding of what it takes to shape young athletes and has placed special emphasis on this as part of her professional development program. She believes in the power of the sport to teach valuable life skills and to produce well rounded young people. Her ability to guide, develop and produce quality cheerleaders from beginners to National Champions is demonstrated by the success of all her athletes.

Coach Shenika believes that cheerleading takes a special kind of personality, the skills can be taught but the WOW comes from within. Coach Shenika says that dedication and preparation are both the key to success. Shenika really enjoys coaching and hopes to continue to learn new things and pass on that knowledge to her athletes and their families.

“It's not about being the best... It's about being better today than you were yesterday!”

LaTasha Lane - Cheer Coach and Tumble Instructor

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LaTasha Lane "Coach Tasha" has over 15 years of cheer experience. She began cheering at age 5 for New Carrollton Boys and Girls Club and continued her cheer career in Recreation at #14 Boys and Girls club in Washington, D.C.

In 2002, her mom started the Capital All Stars Inc. where she cheered until 2008. Coach Tasha has not only cheered but has coached cheer, tumbling and choreography since 2005. She has had the privilege to choreograph the dance section for the University of Maryland Eastern Shore Cheerleaders in 2011 and 2012. She has won choreography awards while at Capital All Stars that include best dance (Champion Cup Nationals 2009 and 2010), Best jumps and Tumble sequence (Cheer and Dance Extreme 2011) and many more awards over her career. She is USASF certified in levels 1-5 and also coaches levels 1-4 tumbling.

Her motto is "Winning isn't everything, but preparing for the Win is!" She currently attends Bowie State University where she is preparing for graduation in May 2014 and Medical School in August 2014.

 

Jamie Aylor - Cheer Coach

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Bio soon to come!

Rashida Owens - Cheer Coach

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Bio soon to come!

Brandy Robertson - Director of Dance Program

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Brandy is forever a student but has a strong passion for teaching dance.  She has over 10 years’ experience with teaching ages ranging from 7 to 50 in styles ranging from hip hop to liturgical.  She is currently a member of the Ebony Day Dance Company under the direction of Ebony Day, provides private dance instruction and choreography to clients throughout the DC, MD and VA area and had the honor of starting her own dance company.  She loves to see the joy in her students when they are actually learning something new, mastering the skill and having fun while dancing.  Brandy is a firm believer that EVERYONE can dance and she is excited to prove it!

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