Cheerleaders to take part in London event

Seymour High School cheerleaders Grace Rueger, Kaylyn Stidham and Haruka Janet Taguchi are heading to London, England.

They will be among more than 650 high school cheerleaders and dancers from across the United States who will be representing Varsity Spirit in the London New Year’s Day Parade.

The individuals invited to perform in the parade qualified for the trip after being selected as an All-American at a summer camp hosted by one of the Varsity Spirit camp brands, which include Universal Cheerleaders Association, Universal Dance Association, National Cheerleaders Association, National Dance Alliance and United Spirit Association.

All-Americans are selected to try out based on 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.

The three Seymour cheerleaders 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 holidays European style with the chance to tour some of London’s most historic sites during their seven-day stay.

Stidham, a senior, said she is looking forward to performing in the New Year’s Day parade and representing USA Cheerleading.

“It is an honor for me to be able to travel to London to represent not only our hometown high school but also for all of America,” she said.

Mike Fultz, the international event coordinator for Memphis, Tennessee-based Varsity Spirit, said this is the 30th year the organization has been able to take cheerleaders and dancers to London.

“They can showcase their skills to a very enthusiastic international audience and explore the rich cultural heritage of this great city,” he said.