Five years of persistence, dedication, competitions medal tests and a partnership with one of the largest dance schools in the country – Sanderson Dance and Fitness Centre – has resulted in Ribblesdale High School U17 large squad being crowned champions in a national level cheerleading competition held at Leigh Sports Village.
Almost 50 competitors travelled to Leigh to compete against dance schools from all over England and Scotland. Pupils danced in solo events throughout the afternoon in a knockout competition. Ribblesdale competitors Lauren Jackson, Olivia O’Neill, Emily Morris, Kyra Tillotson, Ella Winterbottom, Kori Pickup, Nina Telford and Emily Billington all made the semi-finals, while Coby Lyness and Hollie Smith both made the finals, Hollie finishing third.
The main event took place later that day when the team events began. Ribblesdale’s U-17 squad comprised girls in years eight to 11, with some members having been part of the squad for their entire time at Ribblesdale. They always face intensive competition as they are the only high school squad and the majority of the other teams all have competitors the same age. They gained a fantastic third place at Blackpool Tower in March, but earned the prestigious top spot at Leigh, becoming U-17 Large Squad champions.
The team members are Abbie Mason, Erica Nicholls, India Louden–Tarry, Kiera Parkinson, Cara Vose, Emily Docherty, Katie Edmundson, Kori Pickup, Nina Telford, Morgan Hodgson , Leah Ormerod, Fiona Jackson and Emily Billington.
The U-13 small squad CS Tigers danced in only their second competition and were unlucky not to make the top three. The U-13 large squad received a very creditable third place for their team dance against very stiff competition.
Teacher, Miss Robinson, is thrilled for the girls, who spend every Friday after school training long after everyone else has gone home for the weekend.
“I couldn’t be more thrilled for the girls,” she said. “The competitions are never easy and many of the dancers who go have far more experience than us. I hope it has given them the confidence to believe they can continue to compete at such a high level against some of the best squads in England and Scotland”.
Miss Robinson would like to thank the army of parents who always go along to support, also Julia Billington, Joanne Hartley and Liz Heaton who give up their weekends to assist and also Ribblesdale’s partner dance school, Sanderson Dance and Fitness, for their continued support with choreography. They will be back at Leigh in September and Blackpool Tower in November.