Oak Hill Cheerleaders To Perform At Macy’s Day Parade

Posted on November 27, 2013 in Cheerleading, Cheerleading, Fall Sports, Winter Sports

By Jillian Fellows jfellows@chronicle-tribune.com

Thanksgiving morning, millions of people are going to be watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV, and this year Oak Hill High School cheerleaders will be right in the middle of it all.

Seniors Marina Allen, Kathryn VanNess and Alexa Hamilton traveled to New York City to take part in the annual parade. They’ve been in the city all week practicing with a group of other cheerleaders from around the country.

For Allen and Hamilton, the adventure is just one part of being a member of the All-American Cheerleading squad. After trying out for the team at Universal Cheerleader camp, the two had the opportunity to cheer in another beloved annual parade, the London New Year’s Day parade. Being a senior member of the Oak Hill team, VanNess was also eligible to join her teammates for the Macy’s parade.

“Two of the three, Marina and Alexa, they went to the Universal Cheerleader camp at Ball State over the summer and they tried out for the All-American Cheerleading team,” said Oak Hill varsity cheerleading coach Kathy Wood. “They both made it. They’ve been able to go to London and do a parade there, and then this year they decided to go to Macy’s.”

Allen said the experience has been great.

“It has been absolutely fantastic,” she said. “Coming to such a big place, being from a small town, has been interesting. I’m honored to represent not only Macy’s but also my team.”

Wood said the girls paid their own way to New York City. They used fundraisers, such as the annual Sweetser Pumpkin Walk, to help raise money for the trip.

Allen said their team will be doing chants for the first part of the parade, and then when they make their way into Herald Square, the team will do a dance performance similar to a Poms routine. Preparations for the dance sequence require a lot of hard work leading up to the parade.

“We’ve had practice almost every single night we’ve been here,” Allen said. “On average, I would say we’re practicing five to seven hours a day.”

For Hamilton, the experience has been rewarding.

“It’s been really fun and really busy,” she said. “We’ve had a lot of practices. We’re really excited for Thursday. It’s going to be really cold but really worth it.”

Those looking out for the girls can expect to see them at 11:10 a.m., Hamilton said. They will be at the end and on the right side of the parade.

“I’m really excited to be a part of it,” Allen said. “I hope that it will be everything I see on TV. We had a practice performance in Herald Square (Monday) night, and it was unlike anything I’d ever seen before. It’s so colorful and elaborate and there are celebrities everywhere. There’s no doubt in my mind that it won’t disappoint.”

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