Dreams Really do Come True in Walt Disney World

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After 426 hours in the gym, 16 tumbling classes, 4 all-day clinics, and 6 previous competitions to qualify us, this is the moment we have trained for. These next two and a half minutes will either make us or break us.
Its hard to believe that all of the sweat, blood, tears, all of the broken bones, sprained backs, and dozens of practices came down to this. A two and a half minute routine will decide if we win the National Competition or not.
After taking a twenty three hour bus ride to arrive here in Orlando, Florida, it is now 1:05pm, and we are on in exactly one minute. My hands are sweaty, and my heart is pounding to the beat of the loud remixed music.
Our coach makes us go into a team huddle, “…everyone has to try your hardest and do the best you can on stage.”
While I was getting distracted from all the chaos, she gives us the ritual, “Don’t touch down in your tumbling! Don’t drop stunts! If a bow drops on the ground, then just leave it…”
Before she was even finished, the Emcee calls us out to the floor, “Ladies and gentlemen… from Flemington, New Jersey, please welcome… the cheerleaders of Circle High School!”
We were on.

After our two and a half minute routine, everyone left the stage with high adrenaline, and a nervous stomach.
“Girls, you looked great!” our coach screamed.
Walking to our ‘fan’ section, I saw my mother who came down with me, “I am so proud of you,” she said as she gave me a big hug.
It seemed as if all this nervousness, the preparation and anxiety was over. We knew we did the best we could, we just hoped that it was enough. The only thing left to do until awards started was to wait.
“This is boring,” said Jenny, one of my good friends on the team. She continued in a irritated tone of voice, “I just want to see what place we got and then go on the Tower of Terror!” for if we had enough time, Coach Becky promised we would go to MGM studios in Disney World.
Three and a half hours after we competed, the award ceremony began.
“This way,” screamed our captains. “Follow us! Quick! Do we have everyone?”
For awards, all of the cheerleading teams that competed are squished onto the mat. Like always, we wanted to be front and center.
After twenty minutes of dancing to Cha-Cha Slide, Cupid’s Shuffle and the YMCA while the judges organized the scores, our team was back together in high spirits.
The Emcee finally hushed the audience and started the ceremony, “Welcome to the 2009 National Cheerleading Championship. Thank you cheerleaders, coaches and fans, for all of the work you have done. Give yourselves a round of applause…” “We will also like to thank our sponsors, Secret, Glide, Suave, Playtex…” naming a few others after that.
Finally, he began to read the results of our division, “Now, we will move into our Junior Varsity teams. In 13th place, with a score of 126, Kentwood High School!” After the team received their trophy and everyone clapped, he continued going through the line; 12th place to Pennsburg High School, 11th place to Council Rock South High School, 10th place to North Washington…all the way until 3rd. While holding Gretchen’s hand in one and Sara’s hand in the other, everyone was eager and excited to know that we were in the top three in the nation, for they did not call our name yet.
“In third place, with a score of 250, Prattville High School!” The grip in our hands tightened. “Second place, with a score of 257,” he paused, “all the way from New Jersey,” he paused again for effect, “Circle High School!” We stood up as fast as we could, screamed at the top of our lungs and jumped in the air multiple times. We hugged the first person we saw and then hugged the next and the next on our team. In less then a minute, everyone on our team, including me, was crying out of happiness with big smiles on their faces; even some of the parents. The Emcee gave us the three-foot trophy and we raised it as high as we could, showing everyone what we got. This was the first time that our JV team has done this well at Nationals, and we knew we deserved it more than anything. I guess dreams really do come true in Walt Disney World.





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