Team Xplosion with their Canadian Finals qualifying banner they earned over the weekend.
“I wasn’t sure if we were gonna get first place or last place and once we got on and we did really good that filled my heart and I felt like we were probably going to be in the top three teams,” said cheerleader Taylor Davey of Team Xplosion.
Premier Academy Cheerleading and Tumbling is celebrating a rare achievement.
The Xplosion junior cheer squad based in Bonnyville was chosen as a Top 40 team in Canada and won a bid to compete in Canadian Finals in Niagara Falls in April.
They are the only Level 2 team in Alberta to get a bid and is just one of only 3 teams from Alberta to even be offered.
The Canadian Finals is the pinnacle showcase of the best Canadian cheerleading teams from Levels 1-4.
“They’re incredible athletes. They’ve been working super, super hard, and we’re really proud of them,” said coach Melissa Kirkendall.
“Canadian Finals is sort of a higher calibre competition through for Levels one through four because they don’t have worlds for those levels. So they had three bids and what they did was they took the top two teams in Level one, Level two, Level three and Level four and they shortlisted with a total of eight teams. Then the judges picked the top three and our girls were one of the ones who got a bid to Canadian finals in Niagara Falls.”
Davey, nine-year-old on Team Xplosion, described the excitement of the opportunity.
“We almost screamed. We were very happy,” she said.
“We weren’t quite sure that we were going to get it so when we got it, we were really, really happy.”
Eight-year-old Harper is in just her first year of cheer.
“I really like it because I knew I was gonna be flying and I love flying.”
Bonnyville cheer teams competed at the Cold Snap Classic cheer championships in Edmonton over the weekend.
Team Xplosion earned second place in the Junior category, just narrowly missing out on gold by 0.02 a point.
Team Fever finished first in their category, while the Scorchers earned a 3rd place banner.
Kirkendall said the team has a few more tournaments before they venture onto Canadian Finals.
“They meet in February at the Red Deer Cheer and Dance challenge. Then they go to Calgary to the Calgary Stampede showdown. Then we’re off to, they’re actually doing nationals in Niagara and on the same weekend, they get to do finals as well.”
Twenty-one athletes make up Team Xplosion of 182 in Premier Academy.
When they started the program three years ago, they had just 29.
So, does Team Xplosion have what it takes to compete at Nationals?
“I do. I’m super proud of them. If you were to look at these girls, half of them, over half of them, this is only their second year in cheerleading. The rest have been with us, for some of only this is their first-year and then the rest have been with us for only three seasons.”