This New Year’s will be quite a bit different than in year’s past for Pittsburg High School cheerleaders Alyssa Markey and Mariah Las Kares.

This New Year’s will be quite a bit different than in year’s past for Pittsburg High School cheerleaders Alyssa Markey and Mariah Las Kares.
The duo will be strutting their cheerleading stuff in front of an international crowd in London, England during the annual New Year’s Day parade in the United Kingdom.
Both became eligible to perform after attending a four-day Universal Cheerleading Association (UCA) camp in El Dorado earlier this year.
But, it was not easy to earn a spot to London.
They had to learn a cheer, jumps and a routine then perform it in front of campers, coaches and trainers as an audition.
Of the 40 that auditioned, only nine from the El Dorado camp made the cut, with Markey and Las Kares being among those.
“We had about three days to learn everything,” Markey, a senior at PHS, said.
In addition to learning their audition, the pair also had to go through the daily rigors of the camp as well.
“I thought that it was hard because I have danced a lot and I had to learn a lot of cheering,” Las Kares, a sophomore, said.
After learning everything, crunch time came when the audition was in front over several hundred spectators.
“It was really nerve-wracking for me and I had to try not to freak out,” Las Kares said. “My hands were getting all sweaty and I was very nervous.”
Markey had attempted to audition at last year’s camp but came down with an injury during the four days and was forced to miss her audition time.
For her, this year was making up for lost time.
“It is tough going up against the others because some are very good and others aren’t,” Markey said. “It was a long, grueling process.”
After the relief after auditioning and earning a trip to London over the New Year’s holiday, the pair are not done learning.
“You have to learn how to do a dance and, when we get there (London), we will have to work on it some more,” Markey said.
For Las Kares, this will be the first time that she has traveled abroad.
“It will even be the first time away from home even,” Las Kares said.
But, her partner Markey has been the European continent before as part of a singing tour.
“I am going to watch over her,” Markey said.
“She’ll be just like my second mom,” Las Kares added.
It just means that there are no expectations for Las Kares.
“I really don’t know what to expect,” Las Kares said. “I just hope I don’t lose my passport and I have to watch my money.”
Even though she has been abroad before, Markey is still treating this trip as it were special.
“It is definitely a chance of a lifetime,” Markey said. “It is something that you have to appreciate.”

Matthew Clark can be reached at matthew.clark@morningsun.net or at 620-231-2600, Ext. 140