GASTONIA, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – They each have their own superpower.
For Nakayla Awls, a Gaston County Special Olympics cheerleader, that strength is her megawatt smile.
“You can’t help yourself?” I asked her.
“No,” Awls replied, smiling even bigger.
The squad gears up to represent Gaston County in an inspiring way, learning more about themselves with every practice.
“They’re doing good and fantastic,” said Samantha Hutchison. “Because we all do amazing at what we can do.”
The squad is aptly called the Gaston Dreamers. For the first time, they’ll travel to state competition on March 25 in Conover.
Jodie Lawrence-Brian is the coach of the Gaston Dreamers.
“She’s excellent!” Nakayla said of her coach.
“They’re doing really good,” Larence-Brian told Queen City News. “I’m really proud of them, I think they’re going to achieve big things this year.”
“I like being with my friends,” says Mackenzie Rutz.
“You need to believe in yourself to achieve it,” Hutchison said.
“D-R-E-A-M-E-R-S… Dreamers!” the group said in unison at practice.
They’re rehearsing a 2-and-a-half-minute routine for the competition. The Dreamers will be judged on crowd interaction, dancing, tumbling, and pom-pom skills.
As they learn what their personal superpowers are, they face the arch enemy—fear.
“I have a little bit of self-doubt because I don’t like being in front of, like, a bunch of people,” confessed Megan Adams.
“You just have to pretend people are in their underwear… and just say, ‘Okay,’” she said.
What we can take away from this group is that if you don’t know your superpower, you’re not alone.
“We help each other,” Awls says.
“You’ve got to smile at the judges,” their coach stressed. “Big smiles, girls. I know you can smile!”
The Dreamers are in this together with pride and faith in each other.
“And they’re going to come out on that floor and surprise everybody,” Lawrence-Brian said. “And (the crowd is) going to say, ‘Oh, that’s Gaston County.’”