Victoria East hosts camp for cheerleaders (video)
With her black and diamond covered earrings swaying back and forth, Norma Barbosa had to fight back tears as she watched her daughter Dani Barbosa at the Victoria East High School Cheerleading Camp on Tuesday morning.
"It's truly gratifying to see them excel in this and school," said Barbosa, a former cheerleader herself. "I'm not trying to relive my experience through them, I just remember how happy I was back then."
The camp for girls 3 to 17 was an enthusiastic setting filled with giggles and booming pop music, but the tone became serious with any mention of last May's National Cheerleading Competition where the East Cheerleading team placed second in the final round.
Kylie Newbern, 17, is going to be a senior at Victoria East High School. Newbern said she and her fellow teammates have been fixated on the narrow margin by which they lost first place in the finals - 0.61 of a point.
"I have it written on my mirror at home," Newbern said.
She said she keeps it there to remind her that she and her team need to give it their all this year to make it back to the final rounds at Nationals to take the gold.
Victoria East High School Cheer Sponsor Kristie Dicken announced camp rotations through a megaphone. Dicken said the camp is a great way for the varsity girls to interact with the little ones.
"It starts with the little kids, they just build up the spirit of the whole school," Dicken said. "The most challenging part of working with the young ones is recognizing their abilities."
Rocking back and forth with her Rihanna-styled hairdo, 10-year-old Kirslynn Rendon said she's excited about being at the camp.
"It's been a really good way for me to make new friends even though I'm really shy," Kirslynn said.
Kirslynn is about to start at DeLeon Elementary School as a fifth-grader and she also celebrated her 10th birthday Tuesday. The girls in the camp gathered around to sing "Happy Birthday."
"It's just so great being out here with the little ones," said Newbern, who is the youngest in her family. "I like being able to play the older sister."
Barbosa rushed toward Dicken to get a Band-Aid for an injured camper.
"I've been doing this for 12 years with my girls," Barbosa said. "They're just committed, and they loved it."