West Valley High School cheerleader Andrea Green can hardly contain her enthusiasm.
Ready to break out in a rash of rah-rahs, Green is bound for Paris, where she’ll perform in a New Year’s Day parade as an American All-Star cheerleader.
Last summer, Green, a WV senior, tried out for the United Spirit Association, or USA, while attending cheerleading camp with her schoolmates.
“I saw that there would be tryouts, but I didn’t take it too seriously,” she said. “With encouragement from my friends, I gave it a try.”
She found out the next day she had made the squad. Quite a feat for a young woman who joined her school’s cheer squad just two years ago.
Another accomplishment was raising the money needed for the $2,200 trans-Atlantic trip.
A lot of the money came from a “movie day” organized by her physical education teachers. Instead of going to gym class, students could watch movies for $1 donation. The event brought in $450.
“That one was totally cool,” Green said with a smile. “It really showed how much people wanted to help out.”
Including her youngest brother, Parker, age 10. “I counted the money,” he said.
Other donations came from friends and family. Green was able to raise all but $200 of the total and her family pitched in the rest.
Green and her mom, who also is making the trip to Paris, will fly to Seattle to meet with USA’s Pacific coast squad members. The next stop is Chicago, to join the rest of the 100 cheer squad members. Then it’s on to Charles DeGaulle airport in Paris.
Aside from all the sightseeing - the Eiffel Tower, The Louvre, Palace of Versailles - the cheerleaders will practice their routine, which is set to the music of Tina Turner’s “Proud Mary.”
“I’m not sure how they’ll do the ‘ripples’ in the routine,” she said, referring to one of the moves.
But plenty of practice will make it look perfect. Green has been working hard at home with the help of a video the USA program sent to her.
Bursting with excitement, Green can’t wait to perform. “I love getting the crowd pumped up,” she said.
She’s had lots of experience playing to a crowd. During school assemblies, she and her cheering friends perform skits - some original, some from Saturday Night Live.
“We’re all together and everyone just goes crazy,” she said.
Togetherness is something that’s important to Green. Photos of friends and family frame her basement bedroom. The walls are papered with mini-hearts for inspiration. Her dad and best friend’s father made her bed’s pinewood frame.
“Basically it’s about making memories,” Green said. “Cheerleading is my passion. I never thought I would ever be selected for anything like this.”
, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Photo
MEMO: Saturday’s People is a regular Valley Voice feature profiling remarkable individuals in the Valley. If you know someone who would be a good profile subject, please call editor Mike Schmeltzer at 927-2170.
Click here to comment on this story »