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NMHS cheerleaders to perform in London

Three North Medford High School cheerleaders will ring in the New Year from England, where they are performing in London’s 30th annual New Year’s Day Parade.

Aspen Rambo, Ally Ryan and Kaylee Hakes were invited to perform in the world-famous parade after receiving All-American nominations last August at a camp, hosted by the National Cheerleaders Association.

The three varsity cheerleaders will be among the 8,000 dancers, acrobats, cheerleaders, musicians and other performers marching in the parade, which starts at Piccadilly in Central London and ends in Parliament Square.

This year, the parade is expected to attract more than 500,000 spectators and a TV audience of 300 million.

But with 10 years of experience, Ryan said she’s more nervous about her nine-hour flight from Seattle to London than she is about her routine, which her team will be performing to “I’ve Got the Magic in Me” (the “Pitch Perfect” version).

Rambo and Hakes are on a different team, left from San Francisco Saturday, and will be performing to “Pinball Wizard.”

“The choreography isn’t too complicated, but there’s a lot of it,” Rambo said.

“We’ll perform (the routine) about five times in five different spots,” she said. “ The rest of the time we’re waving at the cameras and being cheerleaders.”

While in London, the girls and their moms will take a cruise down the Thames River, see the musical “Wicked,” ride the London Eye and attend a New Year's Eve party at their hotel with the 650 other cheerleaders, representing Varsity Spirit in the parade.

“I’m in love with London,” Rambo said. “I’ve never been out of the country, unless you count Canada. When I was nominated (at camp), I knew I was going to do whatever it took to get there.”

Rambo and Ryan each raised about $3,500 going door to door selling Rogue Valley Treasure Chest coupon books and discounts cards and asking businesses to sponsor them.

Last summer at camp, each of the girls received an All American nomination based on their cheerleading, dancing and leadership skills and, on the last day, tried out for the All American team.

According to the Universal Cheerleaders Association, only the top 12 percent of the 325,000 cheerleaders who attended one of the 5,000 camps held last summer nationwide earned the chance to participate in the parade.

Of the 19 schools at the Centralia, Wash., North Medford had the most nominations and the most cheerleaders make the All American team, said Ally’s mom Pauline Ryan.

However, of the five girls to make the team and be invited on the London trip, only Ryan, Rambo and Hakes decided to go.

“Before I even went to camp my mom said that, ‘If you get nominated, then we’re going to London,’ ” Ryan said. “I called my mom from camp and said, ‘Mom, I got nominated. We better start fundraising now.’ She almost started crying.”

Reach education reporter Teresa Thomas at 541-776-4497 or tthomas@mailtribune.com. Follow her at www.twitter.com/teresathomas_mt.

North Medford High School cheerleaders Aspen Rambo, left, Ally Ryan and Kaylee Hakes have been chosen to perform in London's New Year's Day Parade. Photo courtesy of Pauline Ryan