While most students are relaxing and taking a break from school, six poms were busy making memories to last a lifetime in London with other dancers from the Universal Dance Association.
At UDA summer camp this year seniors Madi Lindenbaum and Rylee Madden, juniors Savanna Bartelmy, Leah Cox and Bailee Hubbard and sophomore Grace McGettigan auditioned for the chance to be All-American dancers. Anyone who earns this title is able to take part in the trip to London to perform in the New Year’s Day parade.
Though there was no language barrier, the girls noticed many differences between the United States and England. All of the girls agree that the things that were most different were the time, currency and roads. “I didn’t want to buy anything at first because I thought the money was difficult to understand. It was also weird every time we drove on the other side of the road.
Everything was like that: walking, escalators, and bike paths,” McGettigan said. By the end of their trip the girls were referring to elevators as lifts and using other British terms just like the natives.
There were dancers from all over the United States that travelled to London before the parade, so practicing as a group before was impossible. Before the dancers took to the streets to perform, they had only had one practice. “It was a tough practice. Everyone worked really hard to perfect it because we had limited time. Despite this, it was super fun, and all six of us danced next to each other,” Lindenbaum said.
The main point of the trip, the parade, happened on the girls’ last day in London. The parade route took about 1.5 hours to walk, and they got to see the city in a unique way that they hadn’t on the previous days of their adventure. “It was so exciting; it made me feel famous. Everyone was taking videos and pictures of us and smiling at us. They seemed so happy to see us there dancing and it made me even happier to be there.” Hubbard said. “[It was] definitely the best experience I’ve had in my life so far.”