Eudora Not even jet lag could keep Angela Richardson and Kari Ott from cheering at last Friday's Eudora High School basketball game.
The two girls returned Thursday from a weeklong stay in London, where they marched and danced for 1 miles in The Lord Mayor of Westminster's New Year's Day Parade. Despite the six-hour time difference, the girls made it to school Friday and later helped the rest of the EHS cheerleading squad cheer the Cardinals to a 72-46 victory over Oskaloosa.
Angela, 17, and Kari, 15, earned spots in the London parade during tryouts at the Universal Cheerleading Assn.'s cheerleading camp at Kansas University in July. Of the 300 participants at camp, 30 to 40 tried out, and fewer than 10 were selected, Kari said.
Making the UCA All Star squad was particularly special for the two girls because the organization rarely picks more than one cheerleader from a school. Also, most slots went to high school seniors, said Angela, a junior. Kari is a sophomore.
"There were just a handful of us," Angela said.
ABOUT A week before they left for England, the girls received a video tape of the dance they would perform in the parade. Fortunately, they were assigned to the same group, one of six dance groups, and they could practice the routine together.
In London, they joined 190 other girls in their group, which performed to the song "Shout" six times during the parade and once in Royal Albert Hall. They were among about 1,200 cheerleaders from across the United States to participate in the parade.
"The parade was wonderful," said Angela, adding that the route twisted and turned through the city. "You got into having so much fun, that it went by really fast."
Even when they weren't rehearsing, dancing or marching, "we were on the go all the time," Kari said. "Once we woke up, we didn't sit down until 10 o'clock at night."
THE GIRLS and their mothers, who also made the trip, toured all the major attractions in London, including Stratford Upon Avon, Oxford University, St. Paul's Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, and Windsor Castle. Their hotel sat on the River Thames.
"It was like a fairy tale," Angela said.
They also sampled English cuisine, but weren't impressed. "They don't use a lot of spices and they serve French fries with everything," Kari said.
Kari, who plans to attend a seminary in Chicago after graduating from EHS, said the London trip opened her eyes to a new culture. Angela hopes to cheer on the university level, and said the experience could help her land a spot on a college squad.
"It gives you a good edge on cheerleading," she said. "This almost doubles your chances of cheering collegiately."