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CHS cheerleader Chelsea Davidson makes a big splash across the pond
In London New Year's parade
January 15, 2013
By BEN MITCHELLUp until Dec. 27, 2012, Columbia High School junior Chelsea Davidson had never ventured outside the United States. In fact, Davidson had barely even traveled outside the Pacific Northwest... except for a trip to the bustling metropolis of Billings, Mont.
Within a week though, Davidson would end up flying halfway across the world, dancing in front of hundreds of thousands of people, and having her face plastered across news Web sites in both Europe and North America.
"It was amazing," Davidson says.
Davidson, 16, who lives in Dallesport and is the daughter of Darcy Davidson, Jr. and Tina Scorcio, is referring to her seven-day trip she took to the United Kingdom in order to perform with a cheerleading group in the London New Year's Day Parade.
Davidson, who has been a cheerleader for CHS since her freshman year, qualified for the trip across the pond after being selected as an All-American at a Universal Cheerleaders Association summer camp in Grand Mound. Only the top 12 percent of cheerleaders who attend these Varsity camps were selected for the honor to perform in the parade and Davidson says she was absolutely astounded when she learned the good news.
"Honestly I was in shock," she admits. "I started crying actually, because I had worked all summer to improve my jumps and be a bigger leader in the squad. I have been looking forward to being on All-American for so long. I have been chosen to try out every year but I haven't made it until this year."
But the work didn't stop there. Even though she learned in June that she would be performing in the New Year's parade, Davidson didn't know what she would be performing until early December, when the UCA sent a DVD of the routine to her in the mail. What's more, Davidson says she used the money she received from washing cars, collecting cans, and selling mums for Homecoming as well as donations from the community to help fund her trip.
When she finally arrived in London, Davidson learned that she would be right in the front row of her group of 200 cheerleaders, performing Nicki Minaj's "Starships" for all the world to see. A four-hour practice the night before the parade was all the time she had to prepare with the other cheerleaders.
The next morning, Davidson arose at 7 a.m. for a team picture at Westminster Abbey and got ready to lead her troupe down Picadilly Street, straight into the heart of London. Hundreds of thousands of people in bleachers lined the streets, waiting, as Davidson, in the front row, realized she could see herself on the JumboTron.
"I was shaking so hard," she remembers. "I was so scared."
The pictures of Davidson performing in the parade don't show any butterflies though. Her position in the front row meant photographers got a lot of shots of her, which can be found on the Web sites of NPR, the Belfast Telegraph, and the London New Year's Day Parade, as well as other media sources.
Three-and-a-half hours and 100 performances of "Starships" later, the parade was over and Davidson was free to explore all London had to offer, visiting Big Ben, Trafalgar Square, St. Paul's Cathedral, and enjoying what she says was some surprisingly tasty English Mexican food.
Now back stateside, Davidson plans to finish up her junior year with good marks so she can go to Central Washington University or Western Washington University to study business... and to get a spot on the cheerleading squad.
"That's a big dream of mine, to cheerlead in college," she says.