There have been so many stories, shows, movies and books about individuals who have one life by day and another by night that it is almost a cliché. Illinois State University’s personal example of that cliché is Latasha Fox ’99, an auditor accountant for Edward Jones by day and a St. Louis Rams cheerleader by nights and weekends.
Originally a marketing major at Illinois State, Fox needed two accounting courses toward that degree. “From the moment I started the first accounting course, I loved it,” she said. “I enjoyed accounting so much that I would make up my own problems to solve and practice the accounting principles. It’s embarrassing when I think back on it, but it was fun at the time.” Fox said her first accounting professor, Maureen O’Brien, helped influence her toward an accounting career, and Professor Max Rexroad was the impetus behind pursuing public accounting due to his “energy and attitude about accounting that was very inspirational and motivational.”
At Edward Jones, Fox is part of the partnership accounting department where she prepares all of the earnings statements, tax information, profit distributions, financial reports and service inquiries and requests for all the Limited and General Partners of Edward Jones. She passed the CPA exam and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Missouri Society of CPAs and the National Association of Black Accountants.
Fox’s parents live in Alton. Her mother works for their State House Representative, and her father is a retired firefighter who plays golf every day. Her brother, a graduate of Iowa State University, is an engineer for a pharmaceutical company, and her sister is a student at Southern Illinois University.
One of Fox’s close friends and fellow cheerleaders at Illinois State told Fox she was going to be a professional cheerleader when she graduated. Although Fox had no intentions of becoming a professional cheerleader, she researched the field and decided to audition for the Rams.
“Although I had to adjust to the change in cheerleading styles from the collegiate model of tumbling, partner stunting and yelling to the professional one of dancing, poise and beauty as well as personal appearances and promotion, auditioning for the St. Louis Rams Cheerleaders is one of the best decisions I have made in my life,” Fox said. She enjoys the travel opportunities to places like Japan and Korea to visit U.S. troops, and received an NFC Championship ring and cheered in Super Bowl XXXVI.
The downside seems to be the go-go boots she wears for over three hours to dance in. “Your feet really hurt,” Fox said. “When the game is exciting and your team is winning, the pain mysteriously disappears. Well, at least until the game is over.”
Fox is captain of her line, which means making sure everyone knows the routines, determining which sideline dances are performed during the game, teaching or choreographing new routines and serving as a role model and mentor. Practice is two times a week for three hours each practice from May through January, and the cheerleaders are required to participate in charity and promotional appearances throughout the year. The St. Louis Rams Cheerleaders average over 550 hours of charitable service and over 850 appearances in the bi-state region annually.
Fox’s preparation for her dual careers included cheering from the age of 10 all the way through college and participating in the Noir Dance Troupe, track team, Student Ambassadors program and Interdenominational Youth Choir at Illinois State.
“I also worked for Renee Smith Byas in the General Counsel’s Office at Illinois State—the best on-campus job ever–as well as made many friends that I still keep in touch with. Being an active member in Illinois State extracurricular activities taught me many personal and professional skills that I continue to use and shaped me into the person I am today,” Fox said. “The memories of my experiences while attending ISU will definitely last a lifetime.”