Local teen has reason to cheer

Glitter will line the floors and the smell of hairspray will be predominately present at the “happiest place on Earth” this weekend.

Some of the world’s top cheerleading teams from across the United States have gathered for one of the most celebrated competitions in cheer at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida.

For the first time in her life, Brownstown’s Mya Johnson will compete at The Summit All Star Cheerleading Championship beginning May 1.

The 13-year-old flyer will enter the competition with the Louisville-based cheer program GymTyme in the Level 3 small senior group.

“I expect it to be overwhelming,” Johnson said. “Both good and bad. I’m a little nervous.”

This year’s small senior group earned a wild-card bid.

The Blush will have to put on a 2-minute, 30-second routine including stunts, jumps, tumbling, backflips and other routines.

If the Blush make it past the opening stage, they will need to finish in the top-10 in the semifinals May 2 to make it to the finals May 3.

This is the biggest competition in the country for cheerleading below level five, and there should be thousands of people at the event.

GymTyme is the home of the University of Louisville coed cheerleading squad that has won 16 national cheerleading association championships, including eight of the past 12. The Cardinals all-girl team also has won 10 championships, with five of the past seven.

Current University of Louisville cheerleaders have worked with young people to help build some of the most successful teams in cheer history.

The gym requires its athletes to undergo a selective process to make its squads. The Blush, a team featuring 20 cheerleaders, has just three girls outside of Kentucky, Johnson being one.

Every year, cheerleaders must perform in front of gym manager Calen Cook.

Last year, Johnson made a team at GymTyme for the first time.

Following a rigorous physical fitness test, Johnson had to put on a routine in front of Cook before getting the nod.

Other coaches at the gym include Jermaine Edwards, Debbie Love and Gabi Butler.

Johnson said that Butler is the cheerleader she looks up to most because of her flexibility and tumbling skills.

This past week, Johnson has traveled with her team every day in preparation for the big leagues.

On the side, Johnson has practiced with Cardinals cheerleader Nic Laracuente to focus on individual performance.

Following The Summit, Johnson will have to try out for GymTyme once again.

The Brownstown seventh-grader said her dream is to make the “Platinum” worlds team in the future.

Author photo
Jordan Morey is sports editor at The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at jmorey@tribtown.com or 812-523-7069.