When Kristina went to Jamaica in June, it wasn’t for a vacation. The first Gameday Girl of 2014, along with other members of the Flight Crew, went to the Caribbean island for the New York Jets Flight Crew Cheerleaders' 2015 calendar shoot.
Despite the beautiful Montego Bay and Half Moon Beach — the site of the shoot — Kristina, in typical fashion, did more than just relax on the week-long trip to paradise.
“We didn’t actually have a lot of down time, which is pretty much the Flight Crew way,” Kristina said. “We treat the trip like a big business trip so a lot of time we spent with one another, but also prepping for our shoot and making a lot of appearances.”
After the appearances, the Flight Crew did find opportunities to have fun. One of the best experiences, she said, was playing beach volleyball against other guests at their resort.
The trip was humbling for Kristina, who is entering her second season as a Flight Crew Cheerleader. It was her first time in Jamaica and made her realize that life can be pretty sweet.
“It was one of those things where you don’t envision doing a photo shoot in Jamaica. And then you blink your eyes and you’re at a photo shoot in Jamaica!" she said. "I just loved the experience.”
Kristina said she learned one big lesson about herself and her teammates during the shoot.
“There’s a lot of external glitz and glamour that you associate with Flight Crew and professional cheerleading in general,” she said. “I think that’s awesome and great and a little part of why each of us is here. But one thing that I remember from Jamaica is how much each of us loves the idea of the sisterhood and hard work that comes behind that glitz and glamour. We actually all appreciate the hard work, too.”
Kristina and the Flight Crew practice three times a week. As a veteran, she said it doesn’t get any easier for her. She still has new choreography to learn in practice and is then expected to have them perfected before the next practice.
After first stepping onto the field in uniform, she said she didn’t know what to expect. Now that she knows what it’s like to perform in front of 80,000 fans, she said she is still as excited as when she was a rookie.
When Kristina’s not entertaining the crowd at MetLife Stadium during Jets home games, she works as an attorney at a non-profit organization. A self-described news junkie, Kristina likes to stay current with news—especially in the legal world.
“I like to make sure that my mind is always sharp. So I just appreciate reading and watching the news,” she said. “I think I’m the biggest CNN news geek. I love all things CNN. So when I’m not cheering or working out for practice, I’m probably inside at my computer or reading a newspaper and in front of my TV."
She’s expecting a loud crowd for our 2014 season opener against the Raiders on Sunday and can't wait to show the fans all that the Flight Crew Cheerleaders have been working on.
“The entire team is so excited about it,” she said. “We worked so hard this summer. I can’t wait for fans to see our renewed energy.”