Okeechobee Xplosion dance team wins chance to compete in Las Vegas

OKEECHOBEE — The Okeechobee Xplosion junior level 1 team won first place in the Gold Coast Beach Championship on Feb. 18. After winning first place, judges at the championship decided to award the Xplosion a gold bid that grants them the opportunity to compete in the U.S. Finals in Las Vegas, Nev. This marks the first time any team in Okeechobee has been invited to compete in the U.S. finals. Xplosion owner and coach Victoria Smith was stunned by the announcement.

Okeechobee Xplosion dance team includes, (front row, left to right) Brooke Phillips, Makayla Rathbun; (middle row) Alyssa Botarri, Natalie Zarrella, Isabelle Marrero; (back row) Cloe Rhoden, Skye Roberts, Morgan Jackson and Addison Werthington. Special to the Okeechobee News.

“I think all of us were in shock,” explained Mrs. Smith. “We all just stood there, both the kids and myself just looking at each other. Then, once the kids and I realized what happened, there was just a freak out. This group of nine young ladies are kind of an underdog because they’re so small, and some of the other teams we were competing against had 16 people. The girls had to beat every other team at the event to get this bid, and there were over 150 teams there that day.”

Okeechobee Xplosion is a competitive cheer leading and gymnastic gym that has operated in Okeechobee for the past ten years. Membership is open to children ranging in age from 2 to 18 in Okeechobee County.

The gold bid awarded to the team pays for their entry into the competition in Las Vegas, however it doesn’t pay for their travel costs. So, now the team is attempting to raise funds for the trip.

One campaign the team is running to help pay for the trip is an “Egg My Yard” fundraiser.

The girls would deliver candy eggs to your house on either March 30 or 31 between 8 and 10 p.m. just in time for Easter. Thirty eggs would cost $25, while 40 would cost $35 and 70 eggs for $50. The eggs can be scattered and hidden in your yard or the team can leave them in a basket on your porch with a letter from the Easter bunny for an additional $8.

To inquire about the “Egg My Yard” fundraiser you’re encouraged to email oxacheer@gmail.com or text Victoria Smith at 863-441-3826.

You can keep up Okeechobee Xplosion and follow them as they continue to compete in competitions by liking their Facebook page which is located at www.facebook.com/okeechobee.xplosion.com.

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