Pitt State Dance Team grad now cheering for the KC Chiefs 

Morgan Auman Smith is used to an amazing Game Day experience: she was on the Pitt State Dance Team as a student and loved entertaining the crowd in Gorilla Village and in Carnie Smith Stadium. 

These days, her Game Day experience is next level: She’s a Kansas City Chiefs cheerleader and on Feb. 11 will make her second Super Bowl appearance in two years. 

“It feels like I’m living in a dream — it hasn’t really hit me yet,” she said Wednesday from her apartment in Kansas City. 

Smith, who grew up in Republic, Missouri, and whose parents live in Joplin, graduated in 2020 with a degree in Business Management and a minor in Dance.  

Crimson and Gold 

As a member of the Pitt State Dance Team, a highlight was performing at the Pitt State v. Northwest Missouri State football game at Arrowhead Stadium in 2019.

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She never dreamed that a few years later, she’d be wearing crimson and gold at Arrowhead for the Chiefs! 

In her junior and senior years, she also competed in the UDA Nationals in Florida capturing 9th and 10th place.  

“Pitt State was really the best four years ever,” she said. “I met awesome people that I’m still friends with today. When Rocky (Restivo) came to be our coach, it was amazing. He has really impacted me, the way that I lead today.” 

Those experiences, along with Gorilla Game Day, prepared her for what she’s doing in Kansas City. 

“It's so unique, very traditional – and the Chiefs are similar to Pitt State in that way. The community is very involved. Performing at the football game to an excited stadium, doing the pregame performances and having interactions with fans is all very similar. And getting to go to Nationals and performing on that big of a stage, the pressure of preparing for it, helped, too,” she said. 

Two goals 

Because her college graduation occurred just as the Covid pandemic was unfolding, she moved back home with her parents and began teaching dance as soon as it was possible.  

Her goals: to one day own her own dance studio, and to land a position with the Chiefs Cheer team. 

It was stressful, with hundreds of women trying out for 34 spots. 

“I was in tears when I learned I’d made it,” she said. 

She began driving back and forth to Kansas City twice a week for practice and made appearances in Kansas City, officially becoming a KC resident in August 2021. She also started her own dance choreography business for high schools and colleges, achieving both goals.  

"An ambassador”  

In February 2023, she found herself heading to Arizona for her first Super Bowl. 

“It was a whirlwind,” she said. “I had to pinch myself throughout the whole weekend.” 

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Chiefs courtesy photo: Steve Sanders

She and her fellow cheerleaders made appearances at community events, interacted with fans, were interviewed by the media, and signed autographs. 

“I was an ambassador for the team and for Kansas City,” she said. “We got to show the world what Chiefs Kingdom looks like.” 

Like she did in her days in Carnie Smith Stadium, Smith “felt a responsibility to help the team win.” 

“We keep the crowd engaged and encourage them to keep cheering when times are bad as well as good,” she said. 

On Sunday, Smith will head to Las Vegas for her second Super Bowl, along with a week of pre-game appearances. She’ll be a part of the opening kick-off ceremony on Monday night. 

“It's crazy to go back again — it’s definitely not a dream I thought would ever be possible,” she said. “Going to the Super Bowl the first time was something I thought was once in a lifetime, but now here we are again.” 

Proud Gorillas 

Smith’s dad, Ken Auman, is a Pitt State alumnus. 

Her husband, Derek Smith, graduated in 2020 with a degree in Construction. 

Her twin sister, Megan, graduated with a degree in Nursing and a minor in Dance in 2020. She, too, was a member of the Pitt State Dance Team.