A Fylde coast teenager is taking to the stage in a competition to find the world’s best cheerleaders.
Mia Cemerikic, 17, started cheerleading when she was just five-years-old after being inspired by America’s popular high-energy cheering squads.
Now a key member of the British cheerleading team, the Blackpool Sixth Form student is set to star at the World Cheerleading Championships at Disney World in Florida this month.
She said: “I was five when I started with my friends and it just progressed from there.
“I’m the one that gets thrown up in the air. It’s really fun and I can’t really describe it. You need lots of trust.
“We link arms in the air and do double twists as we come down.”
Mia, of Canterbury Close, Carleton, was hand-picked for the British cheerleading team after impressing British Cheerleading Association judges at an audition in Leeds last year.
The 24-person team, which is made up of both girls and boys, meets every other weekend in Leeds to practice jumps, flips, and dance routines.
Mia said: “Since I got picked I have been travelling around the UK doing championships. Last weekend I was inTelford and then the weekend before that I was in Nottingham.
“We train for 12 hours throughout Saturday and Sunday. I do dance at college five days a week which keeps up my stamina and my stretching.
“My parents are very supportive. My mum is my number one fan.”
She added that she is now looking forward to soaring through the air at the famous Disney World arena in three weeks time.
She said: “I’m so excited. I was really happy when I found out we got into the championships, I just didn’t expect it at all. It’s definitely going to be the biggest competition I’ve been in.
“I don’t know if we’ll win. The American teams are all absolutely amazing. Cheerleading is a massive thing in America.
“We’ll be doing a two-and-a-half minute routine to pop songs like Christina Aguilera. The most impressive part is the dance. Everybody always loves our dancing.
“I get very nervous but it helps me perform better because of the adrenaline.
“Cheerleading is all about teamwork; it helps me with my trust and confidence and we have all got a very close bond.”