Our North Colonie Pee Wee Large cheer team competed at the Eastern Regional competition last weekend in Trenton, NY. Our cars were covered in shoe polish with NORTH COLONIE BISON. The top two teams go on to compete at the National level in Florida, Walt Disney World. Last year we missed going to Nationals by TWO points.
After the NY competitions were done we had three weeks to totally re-choreographed our routine to kick it up a notch so that we would have a shot at placing in the top two.. We threw in one legged stunts ~ liberties, arabesques and a heal stretch. Practices were long and tiring, but the girls rose above all the sicknesses that plagued our squad and made it work.
When it came time for us to take the floor and practice one last time before performing ~ confidence was shaken to the core for Hannah. The noise level in the arena was high ~ the girls couldn't even hear us shouting out the eight counts to walk through their routine. For whatever reason Hannah's stunt group didn't get her up and there wasn't a second chance to practice again. Our team was ushered off the practice mats and we got in line to perform. Emotions were running high ~ there was electricity in the air with anticipation of performing our 2:30 minute cheer/dance.
Us coaches were getting the girls pumped up ~ wishing them good luck and getting ready to say goodbye to them before their performance. I glanced over at Hannah and saw her tear streaked face ~ she was totally devastated ~ she was shaken and I had to find a way to get her past defeat and focused on the huge task at hand. She is a flyer this year and goes up in the air a couple of times during the routine. If her confidence didn't come back and quickly it would have spelled disaster for the routine.
I rushed over to embrace her ~ looked in her red eyes and told her she was going to nail her performance ~ shake off the feeling of inadequacy and make it work. I stepped away from her to let the other coaches swoop in to boost her up, too. She got the water works flowing for me and I had to turn away to hide my tears from the rest of the team. We said goodbye and took our places in the tunnel where the coaches wait until our team takes the floor. What a nerve wracking 30+ minutes we waited!
When our NC Bison took the floor we were ushered to the coaches box to watch them perform. We all held hands tightly ~ my heart was beating a million beats a second ~ I said another prayer ~ took a deep breath and waited for them to begin. When our girls spirited onto the floor I could see their smiles and their energy was bubbly ~ they had taken the floor to give it their all and they were happy! Their performance was flawless ~ not one bobble ~ all the stunts went up ~ what an answer to prayer. When they were done we all leaped to our feet ~ screaming ~ jumping up and down. Our girls had given it their all ~ and now we waited for the results.
Truthfully, I didn't even want to watch the other teams compete. We had done our best and our fate was in the hands of the judges. When all the teams took the floor for the awards ceremony I had high hopes that we would place,but had no idea if we had done well enough to go to Nationals. When they announced our team as the THIRD PLACE winners it was bittersweet ~ yeah we missed the coveted second and first place, but we had competed with a tough competition. There were tears of disappointment, but by the time we left the arena our girls filed out with smiles on their faces and heads held high.
Not until a couple of days later did we find out what the other team's scores were ~ that's when our third place win became even more bittersweet ~ we missed Disney by one third of a point!! That's 0.333333333 ~ Last year we came in FOURTH ~ this year THIRD ~ next year ~ DISNEY.