Elma High School senior Alexa Templeton is scheduled to travel halfway around the world this holiday season to perform as part of the London New Year’s Day Parade, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.
Templeton, who participates in winter dance drill through Elma High School, is one of 650 high school cheerleaders and dancers from across the nation who have been selected to participate in the parade. She was invited to perform after being selected as an All-American following tryouts at a camp this summer run under the auspices of the Tennessee-based Universal Dance Association.
Templeton recalled that the tryout routines involved dancing to several different musical genres. But some styles she prefers more than others.
“I like jazz best,” she stated. “It’s just a lot of fun — upbeat music.”
Templeton admitted that it was probably inevitable that she became a dancer given that her mother, Laurie, has owned and operated Elma’s Dancers Unlimited dance studio for about three decades. Templeton herself teaches classes at the studio.
“She’s been dancing since she was three, but she didn’t really decide she liked it until she was eight,” said mom-0f-five Laurie, who will make the trip to London with her daughter. Templeton told a slightly different story to The Vidette, however, saying she didn’t actually decide she liked dancing until she was 12.
Laurie explained that she’ll watch the parade with other family members of participants from a special spectator section positioned along the parade route.
“They expect over a million people just on the streets alone,” Laurie added.
The trip is not free of cost, and Templeton said that while a much of it was paid for out-of-pocket, she did hold a bake sale and car wash in order to help raise money.
According to Templeton, she’ll spend about a week in London, staying at the The Tower Hotel. Part of that time will be dedicated to parade rehearsals.
Templeton said that while she enjoys dancing, it only figures into part of her future ambitions. As a Running Start program participant, she’s currently working on completing pre-nursing credits at Grays Harbor College.
Materials provided by trip organizer Varsity Spirit Corporation state that the London New Year’s Parade will be viewed by nearly 300 million people worldwide and will this year feature 10,000 performers representing 20 different countries.