JAMESTOWN – A Jamestown area cheer team is getting ready for a big performance next month.
“It’s a lot of conditioning, a lot of extra work that we do on the side to make a routine happen,” explains Samantha Robinson, owner and head coach of Xplosion All-Stars. “They perform for two minutes and thirty seconds with a lot of different stunts and tumbling techniques. They also practice double-time, so they’re practicing two hours for two days.”
Robinson is preparing her team for the big final competition in Orlando, Florida at the end of April. The team has been competing with the routine for three months, but are currently working to clean it up for the championship. Their final competition before the big event took place last weekend in Pittsburgh, Pa where the whole group traveled.
“We do a lot of jump techniques together so that’s when they do their stretches together. And then we work on tumbling lines and tumbling corners to get them all warmed back up. Our biggest thing we’ve learned to do which helps them a lot is our mat talk,” explains Robinson. “And they perform their stunts in the middle and everybody cheers them on as encouragement. We’ve seen a lot of improvement with doing the circle.”
Robinson has a total of ten teams, with ages ranging from three to eighteen years old.
“Next weekend we have an open house. It is Sunday, right here in our gym on 2435 Falconer Frewsburg Road. On top of our competition teams, we also have a lot of different classes, tumbling classes that the community can take as well,” says the coach.
Carisa Depasquale, who has been with the group for six years, outlined the hard work that goes into the event.
“A lot of practices, a lot of conditioning, a lot of repeating, doing the same things just so you make sure you don’t do it wrong on the mat,” says Depasquale.
During the pandemic, the team was forced to switch to virtual competitions. Now, they get to travel the farthest they’ve ever been.
“The farthest we’ve gone is Ocean City, so this is really far. This is a really big competition and it’s so good to be going out and going to real competitions instead of virtual competitions,” admits Depasquale.
Though it keeps her schedule busy, Carissa says that the family she has made along the way makes all the tough days worth it.
Any community members looking to support the groups can head to the Facebook page to give words of encouragement or participate in a gift card raffle.