Schenectady County

Cheering, dance skill showcased at Schenectady High (with videos)

The dance routines, glittered eyes, ponytails and gymnastic tumbling at Schenectady High School gave
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The dance routines, glittered eyes, ponytails and gymnastic tumbling at Schenectady High School gave alumna Edwina Kaliku a sense of home.

“Kind of feels like you never left,” said Kaliku, who would have been found cheering at the Pat Riley Center at Schenectady High School 10 years ago.

The 2001 SHS graduate went for an open call audition for the Miami Heat in July and beat out more than 300 women to become one of the select 25 on the team, bumping even an existing member.

“It’s just a great way for young ladies to express themselves and be able to have the group effort and come together as a team and support each other,” Antalek said. “It certainly is a sport. Those girls are great athletes and a lot of them are great at gymnastics.”

Varsity cheerleaders for Catholic Central High School enjoyed competing at the event as a way to bond with fellow cheerleaders and observe other teams.

“It’s exciting because we’re seniors and it’s our last year cheering,” said 17-year-old Christina DeThomasis. “It’s exciting to see what other people have and what they do on the floor.”

Meghan Nash, 17, said, “It’s pretty fun. I like watching all the other teams perform.”

Kathyrn Mainello, 16, and Kaitlyn Robbins, 17, both said overall the event is fun because of the excitement caused by the competitiveness and the fact that a lot of people attend.

Many in the crowd stopped to talk to Kaliku in between cheer and dance routines as the hometown dancer acted as a source of inspiration for those hoping to one day perform professionally.

“Anything is possible. If you want it go after it. If you never try, you’ll never know,” Kaliku said.

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