Sara Ellis, 25, from Salford, a graduate paralegal in Stephensons' clinical negligence department, excels in a hobby about as distant from her day job as you could imagine. She is in training to compete in this year's National Cheerleading Championships which take place in Nottingham on 21 and 22 March. If successful, the team will win the opportunity to represent England at the World Cheerleading and Dance Championships in 2016.
Sara, who started cheerleading when she was 15, originally went along to a class to keep a friend company. Ten years later, she is a member of the Senior dance team for the Red Hot Flames where she also coaches younger teams.
Explaining her love for the hobby, Sara said:
"As a club, we do cheerleading which is when people get thrown in the air, probably the more well known aspect, but also we dance too which I regularly describe to people as dancing around with pom poms, just so people can imagine what we do! Our main achievements are as a dance team. I love being part of a team, we are all really good friends as well as being on the team together. I also enjoy performing at competitions. It's great to show people, judges and the organisations in the UK how much we improve year on year, learning new skills."
Whilst enjoying her cheerleading, Sara also followed her interest in legal issues, completing a law degree. Of her role at Stephensons Solicitors, she explains:
"It's a very demanding role. The department is busy so there is always something to be done. I enjoy talking to and meeting clients. It's nice to get to know the person you are working for and helping. It's nice to be able to build a relationship with clients especially when the claims can go on for a long time."
Bid to win
On the Championships, Sara explains:
"The competition is split into different divisions, depending on style of dance and level. Our senior dance team placed last year and were offered the opportunity to represent England at the World Cheerleading and Dance Championships, along with a team from Wales who are the current champions. This is chosen based on the highest scoring teams in all the divisions. This year we are hoping to obtain a bid to the World Championships in 2016.
"We are currently the Northern dance champions, having won a competition in January. We also got the highest score of the competition, known as Grand Champions. (The picture with the 2 large trophies is from this competition) We have been Northern champions since 2012 and also grand champions since 2012."
Despite always being nervous before competing, Sara and her team are extremely excited about the forthcoming UK Championships, as well as a trip to Disney, Florida in April, where the World Championships will be held. And best of luck for the chance to go again in 2016!