WILMINGTON — There was something extra special to cheer about Jan. 1, 2016 for Wilmington High School senior and cheerleader Alexis Carman — she celebrated New Year’s Day in London, England as a member of the National Cheerleading Association (NCA) All-American Cheerleading Team.
It all began last summer when the WHS cheerleaders attended cheerleading camp and Carman was nominated to try out for the All-American team. Throughout the camp, the NCA staff nominated campers who excelled in the categories of leadership, dance, motions, jumps, stunts and tumbling. Athletes who exemplified superior skills in one of these categories were given the opportunity to try out for the All-American Team, and Carman made the cut.
In December, Carman received a video that included the dance routine she would learn on her own prior to traveling to London, where she would participate in the Varsity London Tour and perform at eight different checkpoints throughout the London New Year’s Day parade route. According to Carman, as the cheerleading team made its way down the parade route, she couldn’t stop smiling.
“There were so many people that were so excited to see the parade, and it made me happy” she said.
While in London, she also had the opportunity to take in the sites which included Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and the House of Parliament. She attended the production of “Wicked” at the Heart of London’s Theatreland, visited Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, took part in a Jack the Ripper Tour, and visited several museums. Her favorite sightseeing experience, however, was riding The London Eye, a large Ferris wheel that is the highest point of view in London.
According to Carman, the London culture is quite different than that in the United States.
“Everyone drives on the left side of the road, and they drive very fast,” she said. “Bikes and motorcycles weave in and out of traffic in all directions, and you definitely have too look both ways when crossing the street.”
Carman also noted that were many street performers among the tourists, and people dressed very fashionably. Police officers are called bobbies, bathrooms are called loos, and trash is called rubbish. Restaurants serve drinks with no ice, and one US dollar is .68 pounds in British currency.
Carman would like to thank her friends, family, and members of the community for their support and generous donations that allowed her to “travel across the pond” to ring in the new year.
Information for this article was provided by Diana Miller, who coordinates communications for several area schools.