Litigation to Leading

KU Law student juggles academics and cheerleading for the Super Bowl Champions

Noell Hinsley, 1L
Photo courtesy of Noell Hinsley

Dads, Brads and Chads aren’t the only people in America whose eyes were glued to the TV this past Sunday for the Super Bowl where the Kansas City Chiefs beat the San Francisco 49ers 25-22 in overtime. One person had a much more up close and personal look at the recent Super Bowl. Noell Hinsley, 1L, finished her first season as a Chiefs Cheerleader at the Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Originally from Omaha, Nebraska, Noell and her family have always been diehard Chiefs fans and, after her graduation from Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona, she decided it was time to put that passion to use.

“I always knew that if I was going to dance for a team, I wanted it to be the Chiefs,” Noell said. “I didn’t want to stop my dance journey after I graduated from undergrad, so I tried out after I got accepted into KU Law.”

Noell at the Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.
Photo courtesy of Noell Hinsley

The audition process for the Kansas City Chiefs Cheerleaders is just as intensive as applying for law school with several prep classes and rounds of auditions. Noell began her application process in March 2023 and progressed to the finals the next month. By May, she was on the team.

“I fell in love with the team from the first moment I went to a clinic or an audition prep class,” said Noell.

Prepping for each game and staying in shape for the coming season is just one of many things Noell manages in her day-to-day life. The team met at least twice a week to practice, but that changed based on the schedule of the football games or other attributing factors. Performing at the Super Bowl required extra time before their flight to join the team in Las Vegas.

On top of her duties as a Chiefs Cheerleader, Noell works hard to stay on top of her law school classes and remain involved in the KU Law community.

“It was definitely an adjustment at first,” said Noell. “It has taught me so much about time management and organization.”

Coming up on her official anniversary on the team, Noell looks back on her first year with the Chiefs fondly. Not only did she get to perform at her first Super Bowl, but she was able to travel the world with the team when they flew to Germany for the Chiefs vs Miami game in Frankfurt.

Photo courtesy of Noell Hinsley

“We all got to travel together, and it was a really good bonding experience,” said Noell.

Amidst the whirlwind of law school and cheerleading, Noell remains grounded, offering advice to fellow students also juggling multiple responsibilities.

“You can do it all,” she said. “It might feel overwhelming at times, but it’s all worth it in the end.”.

Currently in her 1L year, Noell isn’t quite sure where she wants her career to take her, but she doesn’t plan on slowing down and she hopes to keep dancing along the way. “I feel very grateful that KU has welcomed me with open arms and supported me as a cheerleader,” she said. “I hope to be dancing for as long as I can.”

By Emma Herrman