CFHTT interview with Team England Para Pom athlete Kat

kat

 

Name Kat

Team: Team England Paracheer Freestyle Pom

Position: Dancer

Age: 29

Career Goal: To win Gold at Worlds 2019

Instagram name @kat_morgan23

Hi Kat

Hi Caroline

 

What does it mean to you to represent your country?

It sounds so cheesy but you really do feel like you are part of something special and I think everyone should be proud of themselves with what they have achieved in all the England teams.

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How many years have you be on Team England for e.g. first year, second year etc

This is my first year!

Why did you want to try out for Team England Para Pom?

I was always a bit too nervous to audition but to be honest….. I am getting on a bit and I don’t know how long till I fully retire from the cheer world so I thought it is now or never. I have a lot of friends on different England Teams past and present and seeing how much they have accomplished gave me the confidence to step out of my comfort zone and audition.

Name a quote that keeps you motivated.

Progress, not perfection.

It is so important to not get frustrated or disheartened and just to realise that every time you try something new you will get a little bit better at it.

Favourite skills e.g cheer stunt, tumble or dance move.

I love Calypso!

Share something that makes you happy

 Training with my friends, not just the ones from my cheer academy but the new ones I have made on the team. Everyone is so supportive and we really push each other to be the best we can be.

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Which Para Team are you most excited to see and why?

I am most excited to see Team England Paracheer. There is a girl called Beth on the team and we became friends when she came to a Para Cheer workshop we held at our cheer academy so to see her compete with Team England will be so exciting! We always see each other at the competitions she works at and she is so supportive of my Cheer and dance teams so I can’t wait to turn the tables and be able to show my support for her.

beth

How many years of experience do you have in your field? 

I have danced since I was 7 but I started Pom 3 years ago

Which team are you apart of or have you been previously a part of? 

I am currently part of TCA Vixens Pom and TCA Wolves Hip Hop.

kat.jpg

What was it like when you attended try-outs for Team England Para Pom?

I was a little nervous I won’t lie but the coaches really made you feel at ease and everyone that attended was very supportive of each other.

Your favourite memory from being a part of Team England Para.

The moment we got our uniforms at our first showcase was a big one for me. I remember the feeling when we all out them on for the first time, everyone had their hair and makeup done and I think at that moment we properly felt like a team.

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Describe the funniest thing that happened to you while you were at training. –

I can’t really pick one, I think something funny happens at every training session. There is always one moment where everyone is having a giggle, it’s such a lovely atmosphere!

What does Worlds mean to you? –

When I first started cheer and dance I never thought that I would be competing at Worlds so to actually be flying out in a few weeks is mind-blowing. My coaches from my home team are flying out to support us, all my friends will be watching at home and I just can’t wait to show everyone how far we have all come.

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What advice would you give to someone who was scared to try-out for Team England this year?

Don’t be, I know that is not original but genuinely I was so nervous and put it off for a couple of seasons but once I went to the audition I realised that there was nothing to be scared off, everyone was so lovely and I was just annoyed at myself that I hadn’t tried sooner.

What will you miss about Team England and why?

I am going to miss training with my teammates and coaches so much. I definitely feel like I have progressed so much with the help of my coaches and it will be weird to not have it to look forward to.

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What are you most excited to experience at Worlds 2019?

I literally cannot wait to go out on to that floor with my team, make our coaches proud and show everyone what we can do. Every year I sneakily watch all the routines at work so I am so excited to be able to actually experience the atmosphere in the arena whilst we are competing.

Name a team from the United Kingdom and internationally that you are most excited to watch and explain why?

I cannot wait to watch our England coaches compete with Red Hot Flames and my TCA coach compete with Cheer Force 10 and Team England Jazz. Our coaches give us so much encouragement and I cannot wait to show my support for them because they are all such beautiful dancers. Also, I cannot wait to watch Energizers because they are just amazing!

team england jazz costume

 

Thank you, Kat, for showing as that you should always go for your goals.

To follow kat journey go to @teamenglandparacheer-pom

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CFHTT interview with Team Wales Athlete Steffi

CFHTT interview with Team Wales Athlete Steffi

wales

Hi Steffi 

Hi Caroline

What does it mean to you to represent your country?

 

Wales is underrepresented as a nation in cheerleading and sport as a whole because we are a small country with not that many athletes to offer compared to countries like America or Canada.  It is an incredible feeling to be picked as one of the few that will go head to head with these large countries and represent Wales, especially because many countries don’t even know where Wales is, or in some cases that it is even a country!  Representing my country is the best feeling in the world and I am so grateful to have been offered this opportunity for so many years!

 

Winning para pom ADCD9

What do you most enjoy about Cheerleading?

 

I enjoy the challenge of working with different athletes from a range of programmes on a national team that you may have never stunted with before.   I love the positivity that cheer has, especially when people learn new skills or hit new stunts for the first time! 

I’m one of the few people that enjoy back to back full outs! 

One of my favourite things is the excitement and buzz of hitting your routine for the first time and seeing all of your hard work paying off! There is nothing more rewarding than seeing people proud of what they have just performed!

 

 

What do you feel are your main strengths in Cheerleading are?

I feel my strengths in cheer are basing and stunt technique, as a coach I have had the chance to pass on what I have learnt over my last 10 years of cheer and develop athletes that are well equipped with fundamentals so they can progress quickly and easily!  To put the two together I feel one of my strengths is thinking of new grips for new and old skills to make skills applicable to different levels as well as thinking of grips to make skills easier to execute!

 

 

How many years have you been on Team Wales for e.g.first year, second year etc

 

This will be my 4th year on Team Wales and my 3rd on Coed Elite! I first represented Wales in 2015 where we placed 9th, and again in 2017 placing 14th.  Alongside this, I also represented Wales in Freestyle Pom, Jazz and ParaCheer Freestyle Pom in both 2017 and 2018, and in 2019 I will be returning as a coach of Junior All-Girl Advanced as well as an athlete on Coed Elite.

 

Why did you want to try out for Team Wales?

 

I tried out this year for Team Wales Cheer because I missed competing because in  2018  I was only doing dance!  I am also hoping to move away for university in September so this could potentially be my last time representing Wales for a couple of years depending on where I go!  I first tried out in 2015 because I had seen my friends compete the year before and I knew that was going to be my goal!

team wales standing with flag

Name a quote that keeps you motivated.

Push yourself, because no one else is going to push for you!

Favourite skills e.g cheer stunt, tumble or dance move.

I love basing double ups and low to highs, my favourite tumble is probably a whip through to full!

 

Which team are you apart of or have you been previously apart of?

I am currently on Team Wales Coed Elite and RSD Legends, who will also be attending Worlds in the International Open Small Coed 5 division of USASF Worlds!  I was previously part of Team Wales Freestyle Pom, Team Wales Freestyle Jazz and ParaCheer Freestyle Pom.

 

What was it like when you attended try-outs for Team Wales?

 

It was really good to be surrounded by the best athletes in Wales from a range of gyms!  It was a completely relaxed atmosphere with everyone supporting each other to show the best stunting and tumbling skills they have to make the national team!

 

What has been your major highlights/achievements while being a part of Team Wales

 

My 3 major achievements while being part of Team Wales was placing 9th with the first co-ed elite team in 2015 at my first ICU Worlds, placing 2nd with ParaCheer Freestyle Pom in 2018 and finally becoming a World Champion with ParaCheer Freestyle Pom in 2017, it was an honour to be the first World Champions in this division and the first Welsh World Champions at ICU Worlds!  \

One highlight from being on ParaCheer Freestyle Pom was coming off from competing and seeing how pleased all of the athletes were, and how emotional all of the disabled athletes were, as this division has allowed them to participate in a sport that they may never have participated in before or they may have been restricted in!

Winning para pom ADCD9

 

Describe the funniest thing that’s happened to you while you were at training.

My stunt group are always having a laugh so there isn’t really one thing that stands out as being funny!

What stunts/ techniques have you found interesting to learn and why?

I find pyramids interesting to learn because you can try new and creative skills!  You also get to try new skills from a higher level which will help progressions in the future.

 

What does Worlds mean to you?

It means knowing I have reached the highest honour possible for my sport!  No to Worlds are the same, so every year is just as rewarding as the first time I went.  No matter how many times you have been, the goal is always to go out, hit, and enjoy your performance!  I still get the same overwhelming feeling of realising I have been chosen to represent my country every year, it is such a humbling feeling!  Worlds is the most prestigious event of the year, so not only am I representing my country, but I also aim to inspire younger athletes who also have a goal of going to Worlds one day who may be watching and supporting back home!

Stunt team wales

If you have been to worlds before what did it teach you?

 

      The first time I went to Worlds I learnt how important it was to go out enjoy the performance that we had all worked so hard for.  Representing your country is something that not every athlete gets the opportunity to do, so it is really important to enjoy it for yourself and for everyone watching at home!   I also learnt that family in your team is key, we had an irreplaceable bond in the first year of co-ed elite that I will treasure forever!

Team wales coed

 

What advice would you give to someone who was scared to try-out for Team Wales this year?

 

I would say that it is an experience like no other that you just have to grab while you can!  Not everyone on the team is a well-rounded athlete, we have some people that only stunt and some people that specialise in tumbling!  Everyone brings their own strengths to the team in different ways, and if you feel you can bring something like that to the team then you should definitely try out! All of the Welsh athletes are lovely, so if you were heading to tryouts on your own you would make friends in no time!

para pom pict team wales

What will you miss about Team Wales and why?

I am going to miss training and competing alongside my best friends as we represent Wales together.  I am also going to miss working with other athletes and coaches from different gyms in Wales which have given me an insight into how different skills are taught and executed in different gyms! 

I really do LOVE learning how other athletes and programmes work and seeing what I can learn from them through working alongside them! 

It really is the best experience to be coached by a range of the best coaches in Wales!

 

What are you most excited to experience at Worlds 2019?

 

I am most excited to experience Worlds as a coach for the first time with Junior All-Girl Advanced!  Those girls have worked so hard to be the first Welsh junior team so I can’t wait for all of those athletes to walk onto the Worlds floor for the first time ever!  I am also excited for the cultural exchange that happens after the Opening Ceremony, where people from all over the world in all different divisions come together to celebrate cheer with no barriers!

Team wales para pom silver medal 70C7F

 

Name a team from the United Kingdom and internationally that you are most excited to watch and explain why?

I am most excited to watch Team Wales ParaCheer Advanced at Worlds because they will be debuting in the Adaptive Abilities category, and there are so many athletes that would not be able to experience Worlds if this division had not been created.  Internationally I am most excited to watch Team Canada in the co-ed premier division because I love their chant and their insane baskets!  I am also excited to watch Team Japan in the hip hop and freestyle jazz division as they choreograph the most incredible pieces!

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Thank you Steffi for letting us know what it means to represent your country. I hope to see one of those crazy coach videos of you while you watch your girls perform.

 

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The 2019 worlds Performance order for the United Kingdom and Ireland teams

The 2019 worlds Performance order for the United Kingdom and Ireland teams

This is the performance order for our worlds teams

The top three from each country will go on to finals

International Open All Girl 5

Casablanca Cosmic 5 26

EMCA killer Queens

Gymfinity Ladies of the crown 16

Intensity Cheer Extreme ICE 5  30

Surrey Startlet Amyethsy

 

Partial Paid bid winner

Rising Star Ellipse 39

Unity Allstars Ruby 37

 

International Open small Coed  5

Coventry Dymniate  Ammunition   27

Predator athletics Anacondas  31

RSD Legends  3

Stunworx Elite alliance 13

Partial paid bid

Cheer Force KnigHT Odyssey 46

Rising Star Midnight 43

International Open Large Coed 5

Coventry Dynamite Ignite 21

Oblivion Allstar Revolution 18

International Open small Coed 6

Rising Star Electra  9

International Open Large Coed 6

Unity Allstars Black 3

 

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CFHTT interview with Team England Jazz

CFHTT interview with Team England Jazz

Team England Jazz

Hi guys,

CFHTT are excited to be interviewing Team England Jazz. This year is the first ever unified Team England Jazz with athletes from all across the country coming together to represent their country. We sat down with Team England Jazz manager Beckie to talk about what inspires her to create this Team.

Team England jazz manager 2019

Hi Beckie

Hi Caroline

This year we have the first unified Team England Jazz. What inspired you to create this team?

Last year I watched the Jazz finals at ICU Worlds and felt it was such a shame that England didn’t have any representation.  When I saw that applications were being accepted for the 2018-19 Team England Managers, I decided to go for it (after lots of encouragement from my mom and sister!) and was given the job!

 

Who are the coaches for TEJ and what is their background?

I am the coach and choreographer of SA Supreme who has competed in the Open Jazz division at Dance Worlds 5 times, being placed in the top ten each time. 31441251_1728376127228755_4364327414352838656_o

Our highest placing is 8th which we are very proud of!  This year we are very lucky to be competing in both Jazz and Lyrical.  I have been dancing since the age of 6 starting with ballet and tap, then when I was 8 my mom opened her academy (then called the Sharon Ann Freestyle Dance Academy).  We introduced cheer into the academy in 2004 and competed for the first time in 2006.  We also competed in Pom for a while which is when I started choreographing more in order to take some of the workload off my mom!  I remember watching the Jazz division at FC Nationals and being really inspired, so I asked if we could start a Jazz team to which she answered ‘I really don’t have time for it but if you want to have a go that’s fine’.  We received an at large bid to Worlds after only competing for the second time at FC Internationals in 2012 which was such a huge honour! 

Team England ada.pngRebecca Mancini is the head jazz and lyrical coach at ADA and is the coach/choreographer for ADA Virtues, their lyrical/contemporary Worlds team.  She trained at Swindon dance from a young age studying jazz and contemporary then going on to do an urban degree at the University of East London specialising in all urban styles.  She has competed with ADA Dark/Dominion Angels for 9 years at the USASF Dance Worlds and has been lucky enough to have placed in the top 3 five times.

team england jazz dan.pngDanielle Robinson is the head of dance at The Yorkshire Martyrs cheerleading and dance school.  She has danced since the age of 3, training at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance and then receiving her first class degree from the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts.  She has been a part of the first ever unified Team England Pom and now she is honoured to be a part of the coaching staff for Team England Jazz.

 

What did it take for athletes to make Team England Jazz?) e.g. requires skills/personality traits you were looking for.)

At tryouts, the dancers were asked to perform their pirouettes, turns in second/fouettes, and various leaps and jumps.  Dancers from different programmes tend to perform skills in slightly different ways, so we established exactly how we wanted the skills to be performed and observed who was applying this to their skills.  For me, the main obstacle for a unified team is training the dancers to dance in the same way so this was very important to us when selecting the team.  The dancers also had to learn a short piece of choreography so that we could observe their performance skills which for me is a major requirement.  We also observed who was picking up the choreography easily as this trait is a huge advantage for a team that trains monthly.  The girls were asked to improve at the end of the choreography so that they had the chance to show us any other skills/tricks that they hadn’t had the chance to show yet.  We also wanted to select dancers who had a strong work ethic and didn’t show signs of giving up when it got tough.
   

 

Which Dance teams do your TEJ athletes come from

56673151_787848578268660_1775458180730454016_nSA Supreme
Intensity Explosion
Cheerforce Ten – Ladies of Ten
Yorkshire Martyrs
TCA (The Cheer Academy)
LIPA (Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts)

How often do you train?

We train once a month for 6 hours at a time, overall we have 8 training sessions in the UK and will have two, 2-hour training sessions in Florida.

 

What will your costume be like at Worlds?

team england jazz costume .pngOur costume is a beautiful Royal/Navy blue unitard with rose gold sequins on the chest underneath a mesh material:

What are the goals for TEJ this season?

Our goal is for the girls to put out as clean a routine as possible, to the best of their ability, to perform their hearts out and come off the floor with absolutely no regrets.  If they manage to achieve this then getting through to finals would be the icing on the cake!
How do you typically conduct a class from start to finish?.

The first two sessions were purely choreography, I wanted to get the routine finished as early as possible so that we had more time for cleaning.  We start with a warm-up that involves conditioning and stretching, we did some technique work in the earlier sessions but the past few we have mainly been concentrating on the routine.  I know how much work it takes for a team who trains weekly to get their routine clean enough for Worlds so feel that this should be our main priority during training.

We also give the girls weekly homework which they post on our Facebook group.  They have to post videos of themselves practising the routine on a weekly basis to receive feedback.  Sometimes the coaches give feedback and sometimes we ask them to give each other corrections.  They also have to work on their technique/skills and post videos of this too.
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How was the TEJ Showcase?

It was very nerve-wracking as our last training session had been 4 weeks prior.  Although it wasn’t a ‘Worlds ready’ performance, it went so well considering the last time the girls had danced it together was 4 weeks ago!  Their energy and performance were amazing, you could see that they were truly enjoying being on that floor!

How are you mentally preparing your athletes for Worlds?

– By making them practice their routine weekly outside of training
– Having high but realistic expectations of them whilst at training
– Pushing them to be full out with their performance every time
– Making training sessions hard so that it will feel easy when they compete
– Doing positive visualisations of the routine

What other team are you most excited to see at Worlds and why?


Team Japan is always out of this World! I watched them live for the first time this year and they gave me goosebumps! I can’t wait to see what they bring this year.  I am also very excited to support all of the other Team England dance teams at ICU.

What is the best bit of advice you can give to the TEJ athletes?

team england jazz training .pngMake sure you put everything into your performance and don’t hold back, you don’t want to come off the floor with any regrets.  Don’t let yourself be intimidated by all of the other amazing teams, let yourself be inspired by them and bring some of that inspiration into your performance.  At the end of the day, you can’t control what the other teams are doing, only what you are doing so be the best you can possibly be.

That’s great advice Beckie Team England Jazz are lucky to have you as their Manager. We can’t wait to see what this year’s Worlds has in store for Team England Jazz and no matter what happens you have already done the UK proud.

If you would like to follow their journey make sure you go to @teamenglandjazz

team england jazz t-shirt

 

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Cheerleading documentary: why we need cheerleading in schools

 
Cheerleading should be in more schools. Here’s a mini video explaining all the benefit of Cheerleading. Please share this video to help promote why cheerleading should be a PE lesson or after school club in more schools

 

 

 

 

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