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Cheer group rises to the top

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Dennis Hines | April 22, 2014

JANESVILLE -- Members of the Senior Platinum team at Glitz All-Star Cheer Inc. in Janesville have had a lot to cheer about recently.

The 13-member team took first place in the Small Gym, Small Senior Division during the International All Star Cheerleading Championship, held in March in Orlando, Fla. Senior Platinum competed against nine other teams in the division.

“The whole thing was sort of surreal, just being able to accomplish what we were working towards,” said team member Jordyn Nicoson.

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The members of Senior Platinum started working on their routine in July and qualified for the international competition at a regional event in December.

Team member Alysa Rothfelder said she felt that the team had a good chance of winning the competition.

“It's the largest competition I've ever been in,” Rothfelder said. “I was nervous, but when we performed I was really confident with our routine and with how we performed.”

The teams were judged on stunts, tumbling, execution, dance, jumping and execution of the routine. Ashley Sheppard, co-owner of Glitz All-Star Cheer, said the team strived to perform with zero deductions.

“If you have zero deductions your chances of winning are better, so that's what we stressed to our kids,” Sheppard said. “We give them ice cream parties if they have zero deductions. The important part is if they did their best and if we did have deductions, which includes falls or touch downs, then we know where to work and what to practice next time.”

In the months leading up to international competition, the group practiced two hours twice a week at the CSA Kids building on Whitney Street in Janesville.
The hours of practice paid off, Nicoson said.

“With all the hard work and money that we put into it, everything you earn in the end makes it all seem worth it,” she said.

The 2014 championship finish was a huge turnaround for the Glitz All-Star Cheer team. Back in 2013, the team's debut in the international competition, the girls came in last place out of 11 teams.

The disappointing 2013 finish offered a learning experience for the team and gave them inspiration to improve, Sheppard said.

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