Students from the Mid North’s Hip Hop Bounce won a bid to compete in the Australasian Cheer and Dance Pinnacle held on the Gold Coast in November, a competition that brings together the best of the best.
The 11 junior level 1 cheer team, known as the Bounce Blossoms surprisingly won the bid entry at the Australian All Star Cheer Federation (AASCF) state competition where they had the second highest overall score.
This is the first time a team from Hip Hop Bounce has won a bid and their director Natasha English-McCulloch was not only surprised, but also amazed that such an opportunity had been given to them.
“It was a huge surprise and something we were not expecting to travel to, but we just had to take the opportunity because there was no way we were missing out.”, Natasha said.
The team aged between seven and 11 years of age were placed up against teenagers, but they did not let that stop them from performing to the best of their ability.
Right before the Pinnacle competition was the AASCF nationals and there the girls placed 8th out of 21 and the day after, they took the judges comments back to the same routine and they then performed it for the Pinnacle.
Natasha explains that they were at a competition of such high calibre and professionalism, the girls were not at all disheartened when they came 10th out of 10.
“They did really well. The standard was phenomenal. The Pinnacle’s slogan is ‘the chosen few’ because you just can’t enter unless you have won a bid”, she said.
“There were 12,022 athletes and 1700 teams at nationals and Pinnacle was just over 200 teams, that is in dance and cheer of all ages and levels, to be one of them, we were just blown away.”
The girls did not learn a new routine for the competition, instead their coach Mikayla Kidd worked closely with them to add a few difficulties where they were capable.
The competition was unforeseen for the dance school and Natasha says that as a coach she was not going to let the opportunity go by, but put it to the parents of the dancers to see whether or not it would be feasible.
“I thought as a head coach, that I could not say no because it was just such a big opportunity. They got together and decided yes that they would go.”
The atmosphere at Pinnacle was described as encouraging and positive, as all the dancers gathered around each other in support for what they produced on stage.
Upon returning to Port Pirie, Natasha says that the girls have brought a lot of inspiration to their fellow classmates. They were able to hit zero and that is a large achievement in the cheer world.
“It is a huge achievement”, Natasha said, “that means they held their nerve, didn’t slip, didn’t drop anyone or make any mistakes. That is a really good bench mark that you can focus on.”
“The hunger, the motivation to take it to the next level and fight to really give it your all. I saw that come out in the Blossoms, if they can that when they are that young imagine where they would be in four years time. Also to give that energy to the rest of the club would be awesome. We will definitely be aiming to go back again.”