Selma High cheerleaders lead camp for aspiring cheerleaders

Published 6:37 pm Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The campers at this years’ Selma High Youth Cheer Camp showed up ready to learn and were overflowing with energy.

Selma High School cheerleaders hosted the camp in the school gym to teach aspiring cheerleaders how to cheer, chant and stunt.

Assistant cheerleading coach Courtney Gilmore was pleased to see that 40 girls signed up for camp this year.

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“It’s really exciting because it shows that the community is really interested in Selma High cheerleaders, and we do have a lot of influence here in the community,” she said.

The girls enjoy coming to the camp each year not just for the cheering and dancing, but they also get to interact with other girls from around the community.

Shameerica Watts, co-captain of the Saints cheerleaders, is proud to be a role model for the young girls.

“The Baby Saints are just wonderful,” she said. “This is our third year doing the camp, and I’ve been involved each year.”

Even though she is sad it’s her final year with the camp, Watts enjoyed being a part of the development of future cheerleaders. She has been impressed with the skills and progression of the campers that come back each year.

“They get better and more talented every year,” she said. “There are girls out here that are six and seven years old that are doing things that I still can’t do.”

Since this past Monday, Watts and her teammates have been setting the example for the Baby Saints from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Utilizing the high school squad as coaches serves a dual purpose at the camp according to Gilmore.

In addition to organizing and teaching the children, the camp leaders are picking up quality skills themselves.

“It gives them an opportunity to step into the coach’s role and practice leadership,” Gilmore said. “It’s nice to give them an opportunity to do that.”

The high school girls take a hands-on approach in making sure each Baby Saint is in the right place, doing the right move at the right time.

At the conclusion of camp, the Baby Saints will put on a showcase for their parents on Thursday to show off what they learned throughout the week.

They will display the different cheers and chants they learned. Some of the girls will tumble and exhibit the stunts they have been practicing as well.

“It gives us the opportunity to show the parents that this is more than just baby-sitting, but their kids are actually learning some valuable skills,” Gilmore said. “They got a chance to work with one another and learn some interesting techniques from the girls at the high school level.”