It took 21 Artek teams only a few weeks to prepare vibrant programs that impressed both the audience and a professional jury.
Professional acrobatics, dynamic dancing and bouncy cheers and chants are now firmly associated at Artek with an ongoing project, Be Bright and Live Cheering, and cheerleaders have become local heroes.
The project has gathered momentum since its launch last year. This year, 21 teams composed of children and counselors from Artek’s nine camps, as well as professional cheerleading teams from Rostov-on-Don, St. Petersburg, Sevastopol and Taganrog, competed on the Artek Arena. The professional teams are winners of this year’s Bright!May!Yours! national cheerleading competition.
The Artek teams were made up of children who are enthusiastic about sport. They only had 12 sessions with professional coaches to learn the acrobatic and gymnastic elements and the cheer dance routine, which helped set free their emotions. Other Artek kids, some of whom are Russian cheerleading champions, helped train the novices.
Yelena Bokareva, coordinator of the Be Bright and Live Cheering project, said that all children learned to control their emotions and overcome stage fright. “They have prepared very good acts. I would give them straight A’s for their performances,” Yelena said.
Judge Oksana Mitina believed that cheerleading is mostly acrobatics, which is more difficult to learn the older you become. This is why she was impressed by the achievements of the Artek children and their counselors. “We hope this festival will be held at Artek every year,” Oksana added.
The judges gave first place among children’s teams to Camp Rechnoi and among camp counselors, to Camp Lesnoi. The first place among professional teams was taken by the cheerleaders from Taganrog, who won the national championship and will represent Russia at the 2018 world cheerleading championship in the United States.