UNION — The first competitive, traveling cheer teams from Union have had an award-winning year, and plans are already in place for next year.
The Twist and Shout Cheer and Dance Center began competition cheering in August 2012 and had three teams this year. The “Minis” team is for ages eight and under; the “Juniors” team is for ages 14 and under; and the “Senior” team is for ages 18 and under.
The teams attended four competitions over the past season, including Cheersport in Columbia, Spirit Solutions in Greenville, All Day Cheerleading at Gardner Webb University in Boiling Springs, N.C., and Fever Productions in Fort Mill.
At Spirit Solutions, the Minis won third place, the Juniors won first place, and the Seniors won third place. At All Day Cheerleading, the Juniors won third place. The teams’ best performance was at Fever Productions, where the Minis won first place as well as Level 1 overall winner; the Seniors won first place, Level 2 overall winner, and the stunting award; and the Juniors won first place and the Crowd Pleaser Award, as well as Grand Champions of the entire competition. Twist and Shout also won the director’s award.
Linda Nies is the school’s owner/director, and cheer coaches are Carianne Willis, Jessica Sherbert and Elizabeth Ireton. Assistants are Kinsley Gallman, Brooklyn Nies, and Kim Inabinet. Nies said custom routines — which consist of dance, cheer, stunts and tumbling — are created for each team by a choreographer from Charlotte, N.C.
With tryouts for next season taking place next week, the school looks to add two additional teams to its roster. The first addition will be a four- and five-year-old team, which will be the Tiny Division, coached by Alicia Mann.
The other additional team will be for male and female special needs athletes ages four-12. Nies said the special needs cheer team will promote social interaction in a positive, team-oriented environment while building self-esteem, motivation, work ethic, and a sense of belonging and accomplishment. She said the school wants to build a community where everyone can shine.
Competition cheer tryouts for next season will be held May 21, 22, and 23 at the school, which is located inside Nixon Center at 708 S. Duncan Bypass, Union. There is a $20 tryout fee. For more information about any of the teams, call (864) 427-3001.
Staff Writer Derik Vanderford can be reached at 864-427-1234, ext. 29, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.