Being a part of Team USA Cheer may be a dream to some but is a reality for five UWG students. This may not come as a surprise to some. Last year both coed and all-girl cheer teams were the UCA Champions, with co-ed being champions for the past four years.
These students were selected to be a part Team USA Cheer after competing with hundreds of people from all over the country. The process of trying out was not an easy one. In January they had to go to Orlando, FL to try out with a stunt group with the hopes of making the team.
There were four students from UWG that made the all-girl team and one that made the coed team. The students on the all-girl team are Jordan Herron, Asia Chatman, Catie Callen and Haley Marr. Lastly, on the coed team is Spencer Collier.
For the majority of students, this is not their first time representing their country on Team USA Cheer. This is Herron’s, Marr’s, and Collier’s second year, Callen’s third year, and for Chatman, this is her first year on the team.
The unique thing about this process is that these UWG students are used to cheering with each other but now have to adapt to other people and find ways to work as a team with people they just met.
“Everyone’s from across the country so we don’t get to practice together, so we have challenges every week that we have to submit which is very hard,” said Herron.
To prepare before they meet the Team USA coaches send team members a specific challenge that they have to complete by a certain day of the week. They then have to submit a video of themselves completing the challenge. Because they are the best in the country the challenges are not close to being easy.
“Sometimes it takes days to complete one challenge,” said Herron.
This month the students will get to meet everyone on the team and start their two-week training.
“We meet the first day and literally go right into practices,” said Herron. “We have practices two to three times a day. We practice for a week straight and then have a performance the day before we leave for the competition. Practices are usually from 8-10 and then 12-3, but if we have a bad practice we have to come back again. It definitely takes a toll on your body.”
This an exciting experience but can also be a nerve wrecking one as well. The competitions are extremely competitive.
“I am extremely nervous. Just thinking about the process is kind of scary. But just the thought that I get to go out and compete against other countries while representing my own is so cool. It can be stressful but at the same time it pumps me up,” said Herron.
This year, Finland is the United States’ biggest competition. Last year the USA won and Finland came in second.
The competition is at the ESPN Center in Orlando, FL. They will have the opening ceremonies on April 25 and compete on the April 26 and 27.