LAHS Cheerleaders, from left, Haileigh Walkoviak, Hannah Jameson, Megan Martinez and Aliana Montoya traveled to Hawaii as part of a select group of cheerleaders and dancers chosen as All-Americans by Varsity Spirit. Photo Courtesy LAPS
LAPS NEWS RELEASE
Earlier this month, four members of the Los Alamos High School Cheerleading Squad traveled to Honolulu, Hawaii with their coach and family members to participate in the Varsity Spirit Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade. They are among more than 600 high school cheerleaders and dancers from across the country representing the camp brands of Varsity Spirit.
Seniors Hannah Jameson, Aliana Montoya and Haileigh Walkoviak and junior Megan Martinez are part of a select group of cheerleaders and dancers chosen as All-Americans during Varsity Spirit summer camps across the country. All- Americans are selected via tryout based on either superior cheerleading or dance skills at camps operated by Universal Cheerleaders Association (UCA), Universal Dance Association (UDA), National Cheerleaders Association (NCA), National Dance Alliance (NDA), United Spirit Association (USA) or Urban Cheerleading Experience (UCE). Only the top 10% of the cheerleaders and dancers from Varsity Spirit camps earn the chance to march in a holiday parade of this caliber.
Coach Lauren Sandoval called it an amazing opportunity for the girls, and praised their hard work and dedication to the sport. They all agreed that the trip was an incredible experience. And their favorite part was performing in the Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade.
“It was incredible to see so many people come together to honor and appreciate those who fought for our country,” said Megan. “Even though we had to walk while cheering for about a mile, which gets very tiring, I still had a fun time. Not only did I get to represent my country as an All-American cheerleader, but I also got to do something that I love and am passionate about. “
“It was such an honor and was amazing to be able to perform for all of the Pearl Harbor bombing survivors in the 80th anniversary parade,” added Haileigh. “It was so much fun and very energizing. This, personally, has been something I have been working towards for over ten years, and something I have been practicing for for months. It was most definitely a once in a lifetime experience which I will never forget.”
They performed with the Varsity Spirit All-Americans in an exclusive performance prior to the opening ceremony of the parade and then were a part of the parade before thousands of fans lining the streets of Waikiki Beach. This trip marked the 80th Anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. The parade theme was “remembering the past and celebrating our future.”
Besides being able to perform for true national heroes, the cheerleaders had the opportunity to meet cheerleaders and dancers from across that nation and enjoyed a memorable trip to the Pearl Harbor Memorial and the USS Missouri Battleship.
“I learned so much about cheer in just a short amount of time in Hawaii,” said Megan. “Confidence, facials and spirit are three very important things that I learned; however, I think that confidence is the most important one by far. In cheer, you must have confidence. If you have confidence in yourself, then you will be able to accomplish things that you never thought you would have been able to do. I will use these and encourage my teammates to use these throughout our upcoming competition season. “
“Something I learned from this experience that I will never forget this upcoming cheer season is to never take any opportunity for granted,” noted Haileigh. “With this being my senior year, it will be my last time doing many of the things I’ll be doing, including competitions, state, basketball games, etc. No matter how big or how small the new skills I learn, or the competitions we attend, even if we don’t win, I will always remember it, even if it doesn’t seem memorable to others.”
About Varsity Spirit
Memphis-based Varsity Spirit, the driving force behind cheerleading’s dynamic transformation into the high-energy, athletic activity it is today, is the leading global source for all things spirit, including cheerleading, dance team and performing arts. A division of Varsity Brands, Varsity Spirit is a leader in uniform innovation, as well as educational camps, clinics and competitions, impacting more than a million athletes each year. Focused on safety, entertainment and traditional school leadership, Varsity Spirit’s employees have been dedicated to celebrating spirit through its brands since 1974. For more information about Varsity Spirit or Varsity Brands, please visit varsity.com or varsitybrands.com.
About The Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade Committee
The Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade Committee has been commissioned to organize the Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade, commemorating the anniversary of the invasion of Pearl Harbor each year on December 7th. The Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade is proclaimed by the Mayor of Honolulu as the “Official Public Event Marking the Anniversary of the Attack on Pearl Harbor”. For more information about the Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade visit www.pearlharborparade.org.