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June 2024

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Courtesy Photo Amaya Cisneros poses proudly after signing letter of intent to join the UNM Cheer Team

Questa native makes UNM cheer team


Amaya Cisneros had a passion for cheer. “It’s always been my dream, ever since I was small, I used to choreograph cheers for my sister and cousins, I just knew I wanted to be a cheerleader” Cisneros says cheerfully in an interview with Questa del Rio News.


Amaya was born and raised in Questa. In 2016, two years after the Questa mine closed, her family had to make the difficult decision to leave their home in pursuit of new opportunities. Yvonne Cisneros, Amaya’s mother, explained how the family moved to Cripple Creek in 2017 where her husband Ted Cisneros had new opportunities for work. The family then moved back to Questa briefly in 2019 where she was set to cheer for Questa High School, before a big call for a job in Albuquerque moved the family south.
Currently living in Belen, Amaya says the one thing that remains consistent in her life is cheer. She has cheered for 12 years total with Taos Xtreme Team, Flamin’ Blues, and Questa and Belen cheer teams. Currently wrapping up her senior year at Belen High School, she notes her last year in high school cheer was a special one because she was able to cheer her senior year on the same team with her sister, Ciara, a freshman.


While her cheer resume is impressive, Amaya always had her sights set on continuing cheer post high school. “It was always my dream to cheer in college, I just made up my mind that’s what I was going to do,” she says. Amaya will be starting her freshman year at the University of New Mexico this fall. Recently, she went through the process of trying out for the UNM Cheer Team, a multimedia try-out process that includes a video submission and a 3-day tryout period.


“Every day I would get an email telling me if I needed to return the next day. It was nerve-wracking but so exciting every single time they told me to return,” Amaya says. Her mom, dad, sister Ciara, brother Ted and boyfriend Hunter all traveled to Albuquerque from Belen during the weekend of finals, knowing she had made it to the final round. “We were all at a pizza place waiting to eat when she saw the email. I MADE IT! I made the team. I ran to my family and everyone was screaming and everyone was so excited!” she recalls when finding out she had made the team. “I started crying, we were hugging, it was such a special moment for our family,” Yvonne says of experiencing her daughter make the team.


Amaya will be living college life on-campus where she will attend her freshman semester, majoring in the medical field. Living in Belen, Yvonne takes comfort knowing Amaya won’t be too far away. The proximity has also turned the family into Lobos, where they attended games often over the past few years. “We are not missing a game! Parents are lucky to have tickets to the games and I said, we are going to every single one, we supported her through the years and we’re not stopping now” Yvonne says proudly.
Amaya says she is so proud and excited to represent Questa and Belen in her new role on the UNM Cheer team. When asking her what advice she would give to young girls who have a similar love and passion for cheer, Amaya says, “follow your dreams, work hard, and don’t give up, it will all be worth it in the end.”

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