Winters cheerleader goes over the pond

Over the winter break Winters High School cheerleader, Colby Shaw, traveled overseas to perform in the London New Year’s Day Parade.
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Over the winter break Winters High School cheerleader, Colby Shaw, traveled overseas to perform in the London New Year’s Day Parade.

“I was very hesitant at first, but I am so glad that I went because it was truly a once in a lifetime opportunity,” said Shaw.

Before the Winters High School cheer season began, Shaw attended a UCA cheer camp where she was nominated to represent Winters High School and perform in the parade as an All-American cheerleader for Varsity Spirit.

All-Americans are chosen based on their attitude, dancing ability and superior cheerleading skills.

“She came home from camp with a letter and put it down on the counter and kind of brushed aside the accomplishment of making the All-American program. I had to stop and ask her what made her think she couldn’t do it,” said Amy Treasure, Shaw’s mother.

After careful consideration, Shaw accepted the invitation to be part of the Varsity Spirit All-American Cheerleading team. While Winters High School cheerleaders don’t compete, Shaw still felt prepared and confident in her ability to learn the dance routine and keep up with the other cheerleaders that were selected to perform in the parade.

“During football season we were expected to learn a new dance routine every week. Even with having to learn the routine by myself, I knew that I would be able to catch on quickly,” said Shaw.

Once in London, Shaw found herself sprinting the 2 mile parade route and performed the routine nine times alongside almost 1,200 other girls and boys. One might think that a small town cheerleader would be intimidated to perform in front of a street audience of more than half a million people and a television audience surpassing 300 million, but Shaw wasn’t.

“I actually felt more nervous before cheering at high school football games than I felt before performing in the parade. It’s more intimidating to cheer in front of 100 people that I know, as opposed to thousands of people that I know I will probably never see again,” said Shaw.

Despite the initial reservations, Shaw was grateful that she went. She made many new friends, explored the most famous tourist destinations in London and challenged her independence.

“I had to raise over $3,000 to go on this trip. I am so thankful for the support of the Winters community. Tomats helped me put together a fundraiser and my family, friends and cheer coach pushed me to believe in myself. I don’t think I could’ve done it on my own,” said Shaw.

Shaw is not the first Winters High School cheerleader to be selected to participate in the London New Year’s Day Parade and she won’t be the last. Winters High School may be small, but Shaw is proof that small town spirit, talent and pride has no limits.

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