Firestorm Gymnastics ends cheer camp with showcase performance

The Firestorm Gymnastics cheer camp participants wait to perform for their parents during the showcase that signaled the end of the summer cheer camp session Friday.

EL CENTRO - Firestorm Gymnastics held a friendly cheerleading competition and showcase Friday so parents could witness what their daughters learned in the summer camp. Coaches Brandon Smith and Alejandre Gonzalez spent two weeks coaching campers to prepare them for the performance.

Girls from a wide range of ages attended the camp coached by Smith and Gonzalez, and were taught basic skills, motions, and jumps during the first week of cheer camp. The second week was spent learning and practicing a routine to perform at the showcase.

The girls were divided into two teams with Smith coaching team Blue Diamonds, while Gonzalez coached team Purple Poison.

During the showcase, the Purple Poison team lined up at the edge of the mat before running onto the mat and and assuming a formation as they waited to perform their routine.

The girls cheered, danced, and flipped all over the mat, while parents laughed and smiled at the performance.

Mia Gonzalez, a Purple Poison team member, went through her routine with a giant smile on her face.

“It was exciting. You could feel the rush in your whole body,” said Gonzalez later.

Smith said he has participated in this annual cheer camp for two years. He hopes to see the gym host more successful cheer camps in the future, he said.

After preparing for two weeks, Smith said he was ready to see his team perform their routine to the best of their ability.

“I’m excited to see them hit that routine and pull it off without a flaw,” said Smith.

This year was Gonzalez’s first year participating in the two-week cheer camp, and she intends to coach again next year.

“My group is a lot of the younger girls, and the fact that they learned this routine in four days is amazing. I’m excited for the parents to see their kids perform,” said Gonzalez.

Both teams performed the routines twice to mimic the feeling of an actual competition. In a competition, the cheerleaders would perform their routines on day one and receive 25 percent of their total score from that day’s performance. Then they receive their overall score after performing the same routine on the second day.

Even though this two-week cheer camp is over, some of the participants said they will go on to participate in gymnastics or cheerleading. After learning these new skills, many of the girls said they feel prepared to learn new things at a higher level.