Two Crete High cheerleaders took the opportunity of a lifetime to perform at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, Nov. 21-25.
Sabrina Renderos, a senior, and Mackenzie Tews, a junior, were among more than 800 cheerleaders and dancers who participated in the Varsity Spirit Spectacular.
“We’re the first Crete cheerleaders to ever go,” Renderos said.
The two are captains on the Crete cheer squad and were selected for the group after a Varsity Spirit camp this summer.
The camp was hosted by Universal Cheerleaders Association, Universal Dance Association, National Cheerleaders Association, National Dance Alliance, United Spirit Association and Urban Cheerleading Experience.
They learned the routine ahead of time, and Renderos said they had to learn how to march around curves, which was a challenge for some in their group.
They flew to Florida and had their first practice Friday, Nov. 22. The four-hour practice included tryouts for placement in Saturday’s parade, Tews said. The first hour was spent learning spots and formations. After that, Renderos said, they worked on the ripple effect.
The two met people from all over the country, including from closer to home like western Nebraska, Kansas and Illinois.
On Saturday, the group, which was divided into two sections of 400, spent 90 minutes practicing before getting on a bus to go to Disney World.
Renderos and Tews were on Team Mickey, which performed on Saturday. Team Minnie performed on Sunday.
“After the parade, we were on our own,” Tews said.
While they were at Disney World, she said, people from other countries asked to take pictures with them, which they were happy to do.
They filled their schedule when they weren’t practicing, they said. On Thursday they visited Disney Springs. On Friday they stopped at Epcot, and on Monday went to Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios. Tews had been to Disney World before, but it was Renderos’s first visit.
The two had a great time, they said.
“To be able to see the Magic Kingdom, and the fireworks were so cool,” Renderos said.
Tews said pictures with people from other countries was a highlight, as was meeting new people.
Both said they hope Crete continues to have cheerleaders attend the Disney World event.
“Have fun and don’t worry,” was Tews’s advice.
“It was an amazing experience,” Renderos said. “I’m so glad I was able to do it.”
“We’ll have the memories forever,” Tews said.