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Beyonce sends Insta love to WSSU’s Powerhouse cheerleaders

cheerleaders at center court with Ram logo
A screenshot from the #BeforeILetGoChallenge video from WSSU's Powerhouse that was shared on Beyonce's Instagram story on Saturday, May 4.

The Ramily is buzzing after Winston-Salem State University's Powerhouse of Red and White cheerleaders were featured in a video shared on Queen B’s Instagram story.

It started when the cheerleaders, known for their trademark stomp and shake, challenged cheer squads to the #BeforeILetGoChallenge by posting a video on their Instagram page on Wednesday, May 1. The video was shared on Beyonce’s Instagram on Saturday, May 4.

“Initially I was in shock,” said Eboni Graham, head cheer coach at WSSU. “We recorded this challenge for fun and hoped that Beyonce would see it. We never thought that she would actually repost it.”

Raissa Bryant, captain of the Powerhouse and a senior from Fayetteville, said the video has given the team a boost of confidence.

“All I remember saying is, ‘That’s my team right there,’ ” Bryant said. “We never believed in a million years Beyonce would actually see it, let alone repost it. … Being reposted might have been for a day, but it is something we will never forget, and our passion for what we do will grow stronger.”

The Powerhouse has a history of going viral, with more than 16,000 followers on Instagram, but nothing quite compares to getting shared on Beyonce’s Instagram, which has 127 million followers.

“The Powerhouse of Red and White cheer program has admired Beyonce’s work for years, and we have been motivated by her work ethic,” Graham said. “For her to see and repost our work is humbling. We will always cherish this moment, and we will continue to perfect our passion.”  

screenshot with Beyonce's profile image at the top
A screenshot from Beyonce's Instagram story showing the video featuring WSSU's Powerhouse of Red and White cheerleaders.

The video was filmed at center court of WSSU’s C.E. Gaines Center.

This isn’t the only WSSU connection to Beyonce’s “Homecoming,” a concert film and album about the star’s performance at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. Her performance and the recently released Netflix documentary pays tribute to HBCU culture.

The first six seconds of the Beyonce bonus track “Before I Let Go,” the same song the Powerhouse performed to in the video, opens with a sample recorded in WSSU’s K.R. Williams Auditorium featuring WSSU alumnus and 102 Jamz radio personality B-Daht.

For more information on WSSU Athletics, visit wssurams.com

About Winston-Salem State University
Winston-Salem State University fosters the creative thinking, analytical problem-solving, and depth of character needed to transform the world. Rooted in liberal education, WSSU’s curriculum prepares students to be thought leaders who have the skills and knowledge needed to develop innovative solutions to complex problems. Founded in 1892, WSSU is a historically Black constituent institution of the University of North Carolina with a rich tradition of contributing to the social, cultural, intellectual, and economic growth of North Carolina, the region and beyond. Guided by the motto, “Enter to Learn, Depart to Serve,” WSSU develops leaders who advance social justice by serving the world with compassion and commitment.  

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