Every so often you’re given the opportunity of a lifetime. For Sidney sophomore Lily Johnson, that opportunity is right around the corner.
Johnson is one of 800 cheerleaders that was given the chance to participate in the London New Year’s Day parade. “I just started cheering last year, this is my second year,” Johnson said.
After taking part in a summer cheerleading camp, Johnson was given the chance to tryout for All-American, which is what is taking her to London to perform in the parade.
In a press release from Mike Fultz, who is in charge on the London tour, he says, “The All-American program is celebrating its 31st year in 2018, and our talented cheerleaders, dancers and drum majors really enjoy the opportunity to show their skills to a very enthusiastic international audience.”
Johnson said she’s looking forward to the other opportunities she’ll have while in London. “We get to see Wicked, we’ll go to Windsor Castle and we get to go shopping and do other touristy things while we’re there.”
The press release from Fultz explained that the individuals that are invited to perform in the London Celebration are a part of the All-American program. They are selected from the Universal Cheerleaders Association [UCA] and the National Cheerleaders Association [NCA] at summer camps across the country.
Johnson said, “The coaches choose who tries out for it.” For her tryout, Johnson said that she had to do a cheer, a dance and a few different stunt jumps. “I’ve never been out of the country, except to go to Canada, but that doesn’t count,” Johnson said with a smile.
For the trip, she will leave on Dec. 26, for an overnight flight to London and will return back home to Sidney on Jan. 2. When asked why she chose to become a cheerleader, Johnson said, “My mom wanted me to try out. She was a cheerleader too.”
Johnson said that her favorite part about being in cheerleading is stunting. “Throwing people up in the air, it’s a lot of fun. I also like that I get to bond with the girls on the team. It’s really cool cheering,” Johnson said.
She added that they perform at football games, volleyball matches and basketball games. “I was nervous at first. Last year was a little hard, learning all the routines. But it’s easier this year since I know them all from last year,” Johnson said. The sophomore plans on continuing to cheer for the rest of her high school career.