Jamie Darr, youth cheer director of the Minarets Mustangs Youth Football Cheer Squad, can add world traveler to her résumé. The Minarets High School cheer captain was one off 500 cheerleaders from throughout the country selected to perform in the London New Year's Day Parade, viewed by more than 14 million people world wide.
It started at a cheer camp at Squaw Valley with 200 cheerleaders from throughout the country. Two were chosen from each group of 10 to perform. The group were called The London Varsity team.
The trick -- Orchestrating 500 cheerleaders not be able to work together until the event, to perform one routine. Once selected, the United Cheerleading Association sent all the participants a CD with the routine. Each girl put in hours on their own in preparation for the day when they would have one hour to practice as a group.
Following a 12 hour flight to London the squad checked into the London Park Plaza, adjacent to "Big Ben." Darr said a block of rooms were purchased in the hotel and all the girls were able to meet one another and tour the town. Their tours included Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abby and St. Paul's Cathedral.
The highlight of the week-long trip was the two and a half mile parade. The group weathered the bitter cold throughout the parade route and were fortunate to have clear skies, as it was the first time in the in the previous 22 years, it didn't rain during the parade.
Darr relied on her family, friends and a very giving community to help her raise the funds needed for the trip.
"The community really stepped up and helped me raise all the money to attend and I am very grateful," Darr said. She was accompanied by her mother Laurie Darr on the trip. "I met some great people and stay in contact with some," Jamie said.
The Minarets senior plans on attending Humboldt State in the fall.