Give me a G, Give me an O. Give me an another O. Give me a D. What’s that spell? Good. Give me a J. Give me an O. Give me a B. What’s that spell? Job. … Good job!
Six cheerleaders from Harrison High School recently earned the accolade, but you would’t catch them doing that corny cheer at the recent All-American Tryouts, sponsored nationwide by the Universal Cheerleaders Association.
A senior, junior, two sophomores and two freshmen had the right stuff out of 18 local competitors at the Harrison tryouts.
The right stuff
They had to show their best jumps, excel in extreme dance competition and exceptional cheers, while exhibiting spirit, poise and style, said instructor JamieLyn Johnson.
This is not your grandma’s cheerleading squad.
But the challenge for senior Julianna Eckel, junior Kaitlyn Meyer, sophomores Kayla Ashley and Danielle Horney, and freshmen Isabella Smith and Ciara Nagel is just beginning if they want to strut their stuff in London and Philadelphia.
Seniors, juniors and sophomores that cut the mustard are invited to spend four days in London, and march in the city’s New Year’s Day parade. The frosh get a Philly parade, said Johnson.
The rub is money. The girls with their sites set on London must come up with three grand each for the flight and accommodations, said Johnson.
“Well if your parents have enough money, they can fork it out but most of the girls depend on fund raisers like baby-sitting and donations,” she said.
The girls often have fliers made that they present to businesses with whom they plead their cases, and over the years have had excellent response from “self-owned” businesses, said Johnson.
“These businesses are willing to help out the kids when they do stuff like this. It’s the real community that helps out the most.”
Johnson was picked for the honor 15 years ago, but said she passed to take an other offer in much warmer Hawaii.
“A girlfriend of mine went to London though, and said it was a trip of a lifetime. The people always were taking pictures of them, and they felt like celebrities.”
Learning the ropes
Sophomore Danielle Horney, who has been aiming for All-star honor since junior high school, wants to feel like a celebrity.
After three previous tries, she landed everything right this summer.
“This year, I picked up on stuff faster. I had to go home and practice. … The dance part was the hardest. I had to do technical moves that I had never seen before,” she said.
The sophomore described the routines as extremely physical, with lots of tumbling, twisting, turning and jumping.
But as a veteran, who started off in the second grade with Harrison Youth Football, she was not to be denied.
“I love being in front of the people. I like being the center of attention when I’m cheering,” she said with no apologies.
“I want to go so bad. I am writing letters right now, so that companies will sponsor me.”
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