Thunder Mountain High School Dance Team members Myrica Wildes and Jayce Wendling rang in the New Year nine hours ahead of everyone back home in Juneau, representing their hometown in the London New Year’s Day Parade.
Wildes and Wendling, the captain and first lieutenant of their team, respectively, are two of more than 650 high school dancers and cheerleaders from across the United States representing Varsity Spirit in the world-famous parade.
The individuals invited to perform in the parade qualified for the trip after being selected as an All-American at one of the summer camps hosted by Universal Dance Association and Universal Cheerleaders Association, two of the Varsity Spirit brands. Wildes will perform with the dance team, and Wendling with the cheer team.
All-Americans are selected to try out based on superior dancing and cheerleading leadership skills at camps across the country. Only the top 1 percent of the more than 325,000 dancers and cheerleaders who attend the 5,000 summer camp sessions earn the chance to march in the holiday spectacular.
Wildes and Wendling will be among parade performers from all over the world. Dancers, cheerleaders, marching bands, acrobats and more will make up the 8,500 performers representing 20 countries worldwide in the 2016 parade.
Established as one of London’s biggest events, the parade is seen by nearly 600 million people around the world. In addition to dancing and cheering in the parade, All-Americans will be able to celebrate the holiday’s European style with the chance to tour some of London’s most historic sites during their seven-day stay.
“This is the 29th year we’ve been able to bring these talented individuals to London, where they can showcase their skills to a very enthusiastic international audience, and explore the rich cultural heritage of this great city,” said Mike Fultz, the International Event Coordinator for Varsity Spirit.
Information about the London New Years Parade can be found at lnydp.com, where it will also live stream from 3-6:30 a.m. Alaska time.