Western Bradford Notebook: Troy area girls perform in Fla. halftime show
TROY - How was your New Year's Day for 2013?
I'll bet it wasn't as exciting as the New Year's Day of Troy Junior High Cheerleaders Danielle Bohner of Columbia Cross Roads and Hannah Dibble of Gillett.
The 13-year-olds, who attend Troy Junior-Senior High School, spent Jan. 1 performing a dance routine at The Capital One Bowl halftime show in Orlando, Fla. as country singer Dierks Bentley played live.
They were part of an "All American" cast of about 400 girls who took part in the show. It was broadcast nationally on ABC.
As part of the large cast, they and the other girls did dance routines as Bentley performed "Am I the Only One" and "5-1-5-0" at the event.
Danielle said, "it was really fun. It was a great experience." She said that she didn't have stage fright, due to the fact that there were so many girls performing with her.
She described the dance routines as "simple moves," but she noted that "it was really hard to get the sequence down."
"It was kind of like line dancing, except you didn't interact much with the people around you," she commented.
She said people in Troy watched the show, and were excited about them performing in the event.
Danielle said she made a lot of friends at the show "from all over the United States."
She liked how Dierks Bentley, during one of the dress rehearsals, thanked all the girls for participating.
"He said that he was the lucky one to be performing with people like us," she said. She said it was "cool" to be around someone who was that famous.
Hannah said taking part in the show was different than she thought it would be, noting that it was "intense."
"I didn't think I would get nervous or anything, but I did," she said. She relied on Danielle for support to calm her nerves.
She was honored to take part in the show, and retained her uniform and other materials from the performance as keepsakes. The show was videotaped, and she has a copy, too.
"We made a lot of new friends," she said. She said one of the girls was even from Williamsport. Two other girls that Hannah and Danielle befriended were from Louisiana.
Danielle is the daughter of Heather and Ken Bohner and Hannah is the daughter of Kristie and Bob Dibble.
"I thought it was a fantastic experience for them," Heather said. She thought it was special for them "to perform with someone so famous" and also "a great opportunity."
"It was amazing," Kristie said. "I think they learned so much." She said she was impressed how the girls watched an instructional video, and learned to do the dances for the show.
"It made me cry my head off when I watched them on the field. It was an amazing feeling. It was such a proud feeling of your little girl being down there with all those people."
She said only 5 percent of the girls who auditioned for the show made it.
Last year, the girls had auditioned in Troy to be in the cast, and were selected by ESP Productions, Inc. (the Capital One Bowl All American halftime show production company).
"We do our selections across the country at different cheerleading and dance camps," said executive producer Bruce Hart. "We selected those individuals who have outstanding performance qualities and learn quickly and can perform in front of a stadium with 65,000 people with a limited amount of rehearsal time."
"It was outstanding," he said. "It was the best college bowl game production in the country."
In a news release, Hart noted that those selected to perform are the best.
"Only the nation's top students who meet stringent 'All American' cast selection criteria qualify to receive this fantastic New Year's performance opportunity, this is by no means an 'Open Call' production," he said.
Much practice went into the girls' routine, including an eight-hour rehearsal in Florida.
Heather said,"it was overwhelming and a lot of hard work but well worth it."
She noted that the weather was beautiful on the day of the game with temperatures reaching 80 degrees.
During their time in Florida from Dec. 27-Jan. 2, the girls and their families also visited Walt Disney World and Universal Studios.
When asked if she gave any advice to her daughter, Heather said she told her to smile.
"Any cheerleading mom would tell them to smile," she said.
Heather said the girls wanted to thank everyone in the community who helped them make the trip. She noted that several businesses and individuals made donations to assist the girls with their travel expenses.
Do you have an idea for the Western Bradford Notebook? You can reach Eric Hrin at (570) 297-5251; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.