Get your ra-ra on this Friday night as the NSW reigning cheerleading champs take to the stage at Slide for a fundraising dance spectacular.

In only its second year of official competition, the Australian cheerleading championships have managed to attract over 1000 competitors to Brisbane this year, including our own Phoenix All Stars, the gay troupe which took out the NSW championship in the dance section in August.

We’re actually a dance squad, head coach Dion Arlotta clarifies. Which means we don’t need to work on all the stunts, but we do have four routines to learn in jazz and hip hop before we head to the nationals in the hopes of scoring the most points, which would win us a chance at the Dance World Championships in 2009.

Arlotta, a professional dancer, started the squad earlier this year with a group of dancer friends. With some wins already under their belt, he is confident about their chances.

Our main competition heading into the nationals is going to be the pom squads [groups who perform routines with pom poms]. There’s also probably going to be a lot more competition this
year from all the various dance schools who are now entering the competition, Arlotta said.

Some of them have been rehearsing their routine for a year and have performed at various eisteddfods, whereas we’ve only been together for a short time. We’ve got a lot of work in front of us, but we still stand a good chance.

Just two weeks out from the nationals in Brisbane on November 21, the All Stars are looking to the community to find their own cheer squad and hopefully some financial assistance to get them up north, by holding a cheer extravaganza.

The Phoenix All Stars will preview their routines before fellow cheerleaders from Sydney Uni and other performers take to the stage.

Intrigued members of the community will also get a feel for what the sport entails before the All Stars hold auditions for new members in January.

info: Phoenix All Stars Cheerleading spectacular @ Slide, Friday November 14. 6-9pm. Tickets: $15.

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