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Stafford stunt team flips for reality show

Like a lot of her teammates, 11-year-old Kayla Gauthier had watched the reality show “Cheer Perfection” and figured True Time Revolution, the youth team featured on the TLC program, was pretty good.

And they are. But it turns out that Kayla’s Stafford County-based cheerleading team was even better.

Their skills earned them a second-place finish at the U.S. Finals in Virginia Beach—three spots ahead of True Time Revolution. And over the next two weeks, they’ll get some national exposure on “Cheer Perfection,” which filmed several episodes at the competition.

“It was exciting,” said Kayla, a six-year competitor. “Me and my teammates thought that because they were famous and on TV that they would beat us, but we beat them.”

Kayla is a member of Passion, a youth Level 2 squad of 8- to 11-year-olds who train at USA Allstars off U.S. 1 in Stafford. The team—ranked fourth in the country—will be featured on this season’s last two episodes of “Cheer Perfection,” airing this Wednesday and next at 10 p.m.

“Cheer Perfection” which began airing in 2012, expressed interest in the local team after Passion placed first or near the top in several national competitions, said coach Bekkie Isaac.

“They were watching us all season,” she said.

The show filmed the team during warm-ups in Virginia Beach, then brought Passion members into a room where they interacted with True Time Revolution.

“It was kind of weird,” Isaac said. “You could tell some of their stuff was staged, and we were all a lot quieter than usual.”

Ashley Freeman, 11, is in her fifth season of cheering for Passion and watched “Cheer Perfection” every Wednesday during its season in 2012.

“The cameras were in our face a lot, which made it kind of weird,” Ashley said.

According to Isaac, being on the show really motivated the team to win. Passion ended up placing second by 0.2 points, but beat True Time Revolution, which placed fifth.

The majority of Passion cheered together for at least four years before the competition, and Isaac joined USA Allstars five years ago.

“I’ve grown with the kids,” Isaac said. “As they moved up, I moved up with them.”

Passion will have watching parties for both episodes 7 and 8, “The Eyes and Ears of the Gym” and “The U.S. Finals,” on Oct. 9 and 16 at Wings and More on U.S. 17.

According to Robin Williams, a cheer mom who helped put the spirit nights together, every athlete and their families are invited, and the restaurant will be decorated in the team’s colors of red, white and blue.

“My whole team is going to be there, and we’re going to have fun,” Kayla said.

The girls and coaches have enjoyed watching the previews for the upcoming shows, which feature shots of the Passion team performing, said Isaac.

“It’s really exciting for a little Stafford gym,” Isaac said. “It’s on national television, and that’s really cool.”

Alison Thoet: 540/374-5444

athoet@freelancestar.com

 

WANT TO WATCH?

Passion, a youth cheerleading team that trains at USA Allstars in Stafford, will be featured on two upcoming episodes of TLC’s “Cheer Perfection,” airing this Wednesday  and Oct. 16 at 10 p.m.

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