RAF LAKENHEATH — There’s no need to ask if members of a local cheerleading squad brought their A-game to a recent international cheer and dance competition.
Because, like the movie of the same name, they did “bring it on” with some well-choreographed dance moves. They have a 3-foot-tall trophy to prove it.
The 41-member squad, known as Tribe Nation, captured first place in the senior coed intermediate category of this year’s Future Cheer International Championships held in Brighton on July 9.
Made up of cheerleaders from Lakenheath’s Youth Center and high school as well as a team from Oklahoma City, the squad impressed judges with its 2½-minute dance routine to beat nine other teams in the category.
“It felt really good because we were a combined team and it hadn’t been done before as far as I know,” said 16-year-old Jade Snedeker, who is in her second year with the youth center’s cheerleading group.
“We did a lot of hard things that all fell perfectly together,” 14-year-old Addie Miller said about the team’s stunts, including its complex, two-row pyramid.
James Austin, along with Snedeker and Miller, were spotters for the pyramid stunt.
“It was great. It was a good experience because it was my first year,” the 15-year-old said about winning the international title.
Tech. Sgt. Elisha Senter, one of the head coaches, said there are plans to rejoin the Tribe Nation team so it can defend its title in next year’s tournament. This year, more than 300 teams competed in about 40 categories.
Senter also invites aspiring cheerleaders to try out for the Lakenheath Youth Center’s cheerleading group, which she helps coach with her husband, Tech. Sgt. Brian Senter.
“We’re definitely looking for more cheerleaders. We had a big turnover this summer with a lot of our cheerleaders leaving to the States,” Senter said.
The international tournament was the culminating event of the Tribe’s season. A new season begins in late August, she said.
“This is one of the most successful programs for youths on base, because we keep [more than] 80 kids involved in a highly physical sport throughout the year.
“A lot of people don’t realize that cheerleading nowadays is a lot more physical than the rah-rah-rah type of stuff,” she said.