Program Staff

Samantha Breault, Coordinator & Head Cheerleading Coach




Sam is originally from Niskayuna, NY where she became a cheerleader at the age of six.  Sam trained and competed with Cheer Intensity All-Stars from 2006-2011.  Sam attended Syracuse University and received a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and Political Science.  She is a 4-year veteran of the Syracuse Spirit Program and was selected as one of the captains for the 2014-2015 season.  Sam cheered at football and basketball games throughout her time at Syracuse as well as competed at UCA College Nationals in 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015. In 2011, Sam became a member of the National Cheerleaders Association. She served as an instructor from 2011 – 2015 and as a Head Instructor from 2015 until her retirement from the company in Fall 2020. Throughout Sam’s ten years with NCA she was able to work with cheerleaders across the country ranging in levels youth – college. During her time with NCA, Sam was awarded the Top Rookie Head Instructor award for the summer of 2015.  Sam has been a part of the UConn SPT Staff since August 2015.



Ashley Marquardt, Dance Coach 



Ashley Marquardt is a Connecticut native and started her training at age 4 from All The Right Moves Dance Center. During her high school years, she competed with ECB’s Street Elite All-Star Hip Hop Team and “globed” at USASF’s Dance Worlds. Ashley graduated from UConn with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. She was a four-year member and co-captain of UConn Dance Team. Ashley is also a Head Instructor for the National Dance Alliance (NDA) and travels around the country to teach technique and routines to high school and college dance teams. She has choreographed material for NDA Curriculum since 2017 to now. In 2019, she was awarded Top Rookie Head Instructor. She is now part of EnVision as a choreographer for Varsity. She also has experience with professional cheerleading and dance team organizations such as the NLL New England Black Wolves and was a four-year member of the WNBA CT Sun Solar Power Dance Team.



Jalia West, Assistant Cheerleading Coach 

Jalia graduated from UConn in 2020 with her BSN. During her undergraduate period, Jalia was on the UConn Cheer Team and served in multiple positions on the leadership team including captain her senior year. Outside of UConn, Jalia works as a Registered Nurse and continues to contribute her wealth of knowledge to young cheerleaders across the region. Jalia is currently the current Head Coach of the Waterbury PAL Cheer program and has served as an instructor with the National Cheerleaders Association (NCA) for 3 years. Jalia’s dedication to her cheer programs, career and local communities bring an excellent insight to the SPT Program.