The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

January 13, 2012

Teens cheer in London

DANVILLE — For two Danville High School cheerleaders, a trip during the holidays was filled with a few “firsts.”

The day after Christmas, DHS seniors Devon Cross and Kristina Wells, captain of the varsity cheerleaders, embarked on a one-week trip to London to perform in the British city’s New Year’s Day parade.

“It was the first plane ride for both of us, and it was nine hours long,” Wells said.

Cross echoed Wells’ sentiments about their overseas flight.

“It was fun, but it was long,” he said.

DHS cheerleading coach Sharda Pascal said she was proud that not one, but two local cheerleaders were selected to represent Danville in the international fete.

Cross and Wells attended a cheerleading camp in August in the Chicago area when they were tapped to join the Universal Cheerleaders Association.

“We had to try out for it,” Wells said.

Wells and Cross were two of about 500 sophomore, junior and senior high school cheerleaders nationwide on the UCA cheer team who represented the United States at the parade.

Out of those 500 cheerleaders, Cross said he was one of only seven males on the team.

The opportunity to travel to London and perform came with a price tag — both students’ families had to raise $5,000 each.

The families conducted pizza sales, car washes and rummage sales last fall to help raise the needed funds.

Wells said she and Cross “got to see famous sights,” such as St. Paul’s Cathedral, Buckingham Palace, Parliament, Big Ben and Windsor Palace.

“We went on a bunch of tours,” Cross said, adding that he also enjoyed shopping.

Both cheerleaders, however, said their favorite part of the trip was actually performing in the parade.

“It was warmer there than it was here,” Wells noted. “We performed the same routine about 20 times during a two-mile route.”

Cross agreed, adding, “I enjoyed being able to perform for everyone.”

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