GeNienne Samuels has worn many hats over the years: software engineer, business consultant, entrepreneur, professional cheerleader/dancer, on-air talent and In-Arena host for the NBA, WNBA, AFL and NFL. There’s little Samuels hasn’t accomplished with confidence either in front of the camera, in a board meeting or cheering on the sidelines. Now, she’s building an international brand to bring top-notch training to cheer and dance hopefuls.
Samuels had no experience with cheerleading when she accompanied a friend to a cheer team audition in high school as a sophomore. But her energy and high jumps (made possible from being a track and field runner) stood out, and she was invited to join the JV cheer squad. This “cloud 9” life didn’t last long because she was quickly cut the next year. GeNienne was devastated. As a junior in high school, her mom and dad encouraged her to focus on track and field, while improving her tumbling and cheer skills so she could be ready for next year’s auditions. All the hard work paid off. She made the cheer team her senior year and her passion for performing at sporting events grew.
Her love for this sport continued through college where she made the co-ed stunt squad at University of Richmond… and then she made it to the pros in the NFL. However, Samuels didn’t rely solely on an elusive sense of having “it” to get to the pros. She knew it would be even harder to make it at the pro-level because she lacked a formal dance background and technical dance skills, which are all helpful at the pro level. Luckily, people in her life, including a few strangers on the NFL cheer team she was auditioning for, extended a helping hand the night before auditions. Because of them, she vowed to “pay if forward” to others that wanted to go pro, eventually sparking the idea for Sideline Prep.
Today, Samuels heads up Sideline Prep, a pro-level resource helping hopeful cheerleaders and dance squad members gain the knowledge and skills to nail their pro and semi pro dance auditions.The Sideline Prep coaches have various skill sets that speak to every aspect of performance-related jobs. Their backgrounds run the gamut from broadcasting to professional sports, college dance and cheer coaches, to pageant work, to teachers and pharmaceutical sales rep, all positions that require a similar dedication to confidence and polish.
At the outset, Sideline Prep only offered private coaching for people interested in becoming pro cheerleaders. However, their one-on-one coaching offer was so well-received that it blossomed into the full-fledged program with group coaching, small workshops and group dance classes, resulting in a 70+% success rates of their graduates landing a spot on a team
Sideline Prep’s professional coaches provide everything auditioning dancers and cheerleaders could need to land their jobs: athletic training, dance and technical training, direction on poise and public speaking, nutrition coaching, workouts, showmanship, makeup application and wardrobe selection, and most importantly, confidence and mindset building. Over the last decade, Samuels has built a roster of well-known industry NFL and NBA coaches who help her whip hopefuls into shape (both mentally and physically) and train them in skills that extend beyond the audition room.
“They learn how to change their mindset and always think positively; how eat properly; how to carry themselves in front of a crowd of people; how to best present themselves verbally, on paper, and in person; how to interview effectively; and how to incorporate fitness and healthy routines in their lives to feel better and look better,” Samuels told Small Business Trendsetters, “These skills transcend beyond an audition.”
Samuels takes a headstrong approach to running her empire, which has grown into an international business. Laser-focused on client needs and customized service, Samuels’ dedication to bringing the best in coaching to Sideline Prep has paid her back in spades with happy (not to mention wildly successful) clients.
Sideline Prep currently holds a 98% satisfaction rate and has had a hand in placing hundreds of cheerleaders and dancers in high-level professional positions with teams such as the Ravens, Wizards, Seahawks, and Patriots. In total, they’ve helped land ladies and men on 15 different NFL teams and 13 NBA teams, plus hundreds of other semi-pro and other league pro teams. You don’t have to live in the United States to reap the benefits of working with Sideline Prep. The company is truly international and can help anyone, regardless of where they live or what team they aspire to be on. Currently, there are six Japanese ladies that are now on NFL and NBA teams that worked with Sideline Prep.
Samuels brings a mindset that helps her stand out in the crowded entrepreneurial space. In her coaching and in her own life, she emphasizes the power of positive thought coupled with healthy habits. She applies what she’s learned as an athlete, business owner, and broadcaster to Sideline Prep curriculum, showing her Lovelies and Gents how to take what can be learned as a cheer or dance hopeful to enhance the rest of their lives.
“The tools, suggestions, and information we provide not only helps our clients be more prepared for auditions, but it also makes them more prepared and better equipped for life,” says Samuels.
Being an incredible leader starts with a foundation of knowing how to stand out in a crowd. Samuels hopes to instill this skill in her clients and create not just the next generation of performers, but leaders… one dancer at a time.