WARRENSBURG While most students in the area were busy this week delving back into their studies after spring break, Warrensburg High School Junior Julie Angell was headed for Orlando Fla to follow a dream of hers — to participate in a national-level cheerleading competition.
Julie, 16, is a member of Cheer Intensity All-Stars, a co-ed cheerleading team based in the Albany-Troy region. In Orlando this weekend, Julie’s team will be competing against hundreds of others from all across the U.S. and overseas. Titled the Cheerleading & Dance Worlds’ Finals, the competition is sponsored by the U.S. All-Star Federation, and it is scheduled to be broadcast on an ESPN channel, Julie’s father, Brian Angell said.
“This is the Oscars of cheerleading,” he said.
To earn the opportunity to compete in Orlando, the Cheer Intensity team had to place in regional competitions. Several weeks ago, Cheer Intensity was among the top squads contending in a National Cheerleading Association competition held several weeks ago in Dallas. This showdown featured about 1,000 teams and 30,000 cheerleaders. Last week, Julie’s team was showcased in a performance in Marlborough, Mass.
Julie said her acrobatic cheerleading career started in the 5th grade with gymnastic classes, followed by participating in a number of competitive cheering teams before joining Cheer Intensity, an elite squad.
To reach this level of cheerleading took years of practice — two to three days per week, three hours per session, Diane Angell said.
“There’s a lot of energy and dedication involved in competitive cheerleading,” she said, noting her daughter’s long hours practicing handsprings, aerial flips complete with twists, and other complex, demanding stunts.
“Julie lives and breathes this stuff,” Diane Angell added.
For years, Julie has been involved in more sedate activities at Warrensburg High, notably a member of both the school drama club and high school chorus. Also, she’s an active member of the St. Cecilia’s Catholic Church youth group, participating in their mission work trips for five years.
Additionally, Julie has recently volunteered to join the Warrensburg Emergency Squad as a junior member.
She plans on pursuing a career as a nurse-practitioner, and she will be looking toward earning a scholarship not only based on her academic record, but on her competitive cheerleading pursuits and acrobatic skills.
Julie said that her Cheer Intensity team is ready for its performances in Orlando, as they have been practicing their choreographed routine for many months.
“I’m so proud of my team getting this far and being in the nationals competition,” she said. “We’ve been working so hard since last May.”