BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – Two FMHS cheerleaders have, well…something to cheer about.
Sophomore Chloe Hoenig and senior Mya White were both selected as All-Americans by Varsity Spirit at a summer camp to participate with close to 650 other high school cheerleaders in the London New Year’s Day Parade.
The group leaves on Dec. 26 and will return on Jan. 2.
Hoenig said she just got into cheerleading when she got to high school and thought trying out for the trip would be fun. Varsity Spirit is a cheerleading camp company that visits high schools across the country holding camps and tryouts.
The individuals invited to perform in the parade qualified for the trip after being selected by one of the Varsity Spirit camp brands, which include Universal Cheerleaders Association (UCA), Universal Dance Association (UDA), National Cheerleaders Association (NCA), National Dance Alliance (NDA), and United Spirit Association (USA).
“The UCA came to our cheer camp and you can try out for this while you’re at camp,” Hoenig said. “They only select a few from those. I went to the camp before as a freshman and thought that was something I would want to try. So this year I did and I wasn’t planning on going. I just wanted to try out for the experience, but I made it and decided to go.”
Hoenig said she’s been out of the country before but never to Europe. She’s an FMHS varsity cheerleader for football and wrestling.
“I have been to Jamaica and Haiti,” she said. “I’m looking forward to meeting everyone and being able to go down the streets performing and that whole experience part of things. We have a couple of sight seeing projects planned, too.”
According to release from Varsity Spirit, All-Americans are selected to try out based on superior cheerleading, dancing, and leadership skills at camps across the country. Only the top 10 percent of the more than 325,000 cheerleaders and dancers who attend the 5,000 Varsity Spirit summer camp sessions earn the chance to march in the holiday spectacular.
Hoenig and White will be among parade performers from all over the world. The theme of this year’s parade is “Showtime!” and will celebrate the greatest shows on earth. Cheerleaders, dancers, marching bands, acrobats, and more will make up the 10,000 performers representing 20 countries worldwide in the 2018 parade. Established as one of London’s biggest events, the parade is seen by nearly 300 million people around the world. In addition to cheering in the parade, All-Americans will be able to celebrate the holiday’s European style with the chance to tour some of London’s most historic sites during their seven-day stay.
“This is the 30th year we’ve been able to bring these talented cheerleaders and dancers to London, where they can showcase their skills to a very enthusiastic international audience, and explore the rich cultural heritage of this great city,” says Mike Fultz, the International Event Coordinator for Varsity Spirit.