AP NEWS

Sycamore High School cheerleader to perform in London

December 10, 2018 GMT

SYCAMORE – After more than a decade of gymnastics and a few years of cheerleading, Sycamore High School sophomore Olivia Dunbar will represent her school in the 2019 London New Year’s Day Parade.

Dunbar, 16, will be among more than 800 high school cheerleaders representing Varsity Spirit, a national group that focuses on safety, entertainment and traditional school leadership. She said she’s not usually in the spotlight, but she’s looking forward to taking part in the world-famous event.

“It’s kind of unbelievable,” Olivia said.

Cheerleaders invited to perform in the London celebration are part of the Varisty Spirit All-American program and were selected from among participants a summer camps hosted by the Universal Cheerleaders Association and National Cheerleaders Association, Dunbar said.

As a Varsity Spirit All-American Cheerleader, Dunbar said she had to choose which varsity event to participate in, and could have picked the Varsity Spirit Spectacular at Disney World in Orlando. Ultimately, she said, she chose to go to London.

“I didn’t think I’d have the chance to go when I’m older, so I might as well take the opportunity while I can,” Dunbar said.

All-Americans are chosen based on their athletic and leadership skills. Only the top 12 percent of athletes who attend camp earn the chance to perform in the holiday event, according to a news release.

And, Dunbar said, it feels really good knowing she will start the new year in London.

“There are really no words to explain it,” Dunbar said. “It’s just an opportunity of a lifetime to go.”