“The number one thing that Campbell taught me was how to work with others,” Malia Burley (‘18) said. No better place to utilize those teamwork skills than in a large group of competitive girls. Burley, a communication studies major, has recently begun a new job as a member of a NFL cheerleader team, a lifelong dream turned reality.
Burley balances long days of training in preparation for football season with her second job as a dance instructor for Ludmilas European Performing Arts Academy. “My short term plans are to stay active and live a healthy lifestyle, to keep up with my fitness, and be able to perform at my best in all aspects of my two current jobs,” she said.
Burley took full advantage of the fitness resources Campbell offers, as she served as president of the Campbell dance team, was both founder and teacher of a hip-hop group fitness class for Campus Recreation, and choreographed dances for lip-sync battles as part of her sorority, Delta Phi Epsilon. In fact, her favorite memory at Campbell is from Greek Week 2017, a time where Campbell’s sororities and fraternities engage in friendly competition involving scavenger hunts, obstacle courses, and a huge lip-sync battle. “That year, Delta Phi Epsilon and Kappa Sigma were paired together against the rest of the Greek community. I remember pulling our theme out of a hat and getting the movie The Lion King.’ Since I’m obsessed with choreographing I began making a music mix and dances over a month before the performance. We put on a wonderful show and I’ve never felt so close to the Greek organizations as I did in that moment,” Burley said. “We won the lip-sync battle and I had an amazing time with my sisters and the brothers of Kappa Sigma.”
Burley hopes to open her own dance studio one day, to “share my love and passion of teaching dance to other people,” she said. While she is working towards that goal, she will carry skills she learned at Campbell University with her. Through her work as a research assistant at Wiggins Memorial Library, an anchor on the Campbell athletics’ student show, ‘Camel Cam,’ and as a videographer, producer, and sideline reporter for athletics events, she has learned “what proper work ethic looks like, how to be responsible, and how to be dependable.” Once navigating busy days in college, she now balances two jobs and a dedicated fitness routine, all of which requires the strong work ethic she learned at Campbell.
She went on to add, “I have gained valuable knowledge about how to respect people in the business world and how to negotiate and create a positive environment for others. I learned how to become my best self and how to be a young professional.”
Four years fly by quickly, Burley knows all too well. “Never take your four years for granted,” Burley cautions current and incoming students. “Always remember that college is temporary. I remember studying countless hours for tests and stressing about making good grades. Before you know it, the stresses of those hard classes will become just a faded memory. Cherish those moments with your friends and value the time spent as a student. Take it all in while you can and do not sweat the little things.”
Learn more about alumni news and events at alumni.campbell.edu.