Mountlake Terrace High School senior Britta Sinclair performed as a cheerleader in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade in November. “I was the only person from Washington there,” she says. “I kind of expected to be the only one from here, just because cheer isn’t as big as it is in other states.” (Dan Bates / The Herald)

Mountlake Terrace High School senior Britta Sinclair performed as a cheerleader in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade in November. “I was the only person from Washington there,” she says. “I kind of expected to be the only one from here, just because cheer isn’t as big as it is in other states.” (Dan Bates / The Herald)

After years of watching Macy’s parade, Terrace teen joined in

Britta Sinclair cheered through the streets of New York. She’s a senior at Mountlake Terrace high.

MOUNTLAKE TERRACE — Britta Sinclair, 18, is a senior at Mountlake Terrace High School. In November, she performed with a cheerleading squad at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. She takes college-level classes and is in the honor society, which she balances with her year-round cheer schedule.

Question: How did you get involved with cheer?

Answer: I started cheerleading when I was in fifth grade. I started gymnastics when I was like 2 years old, so I had already been in the whole cheer, gymnastics environment for a while. I was at a gym and they had a cheer program, so I thought, “Hey, why don’t I try this out?” I was kind of getting burnt out of gymnastics at that point. I tried it and I just fell in love with it.

Q: How long have you been on the high school team?

A: I’ve been on it my sophomore, junior and senior year. We weren’t allowed to try out as freshmen.

Q: Why have you stuck with it?

A: The squad is like a family, and it just got me involved in so many other things. I’m very much a girly-girl, so cheer was definitely a good sport for me. I could still be competitive and be athletic, but have the girly side of it.

Q: How did you get into the parade?

A: I had watched the parade ever since I was a little girl. I always watched it with my parents. It was big for my mom’s family. I had seen some girls previously on the cheer team here go for the parade, and I thought, “That’s something I want to do.” So I did some research and found out what program did the parade, got ahold of them, found out that if I was a captain of the cheer team, which I am, I could automatically get in without having to try out.

Q: How many people were you with?

A: It was between 300 and 400. I was the only person from Washington there. I kind of expected to be the only one from here, just because cheer isn’t as big as it is in other states.

Q: What was it like to work with such a big group?

A: Everyone was so friendly, but it was overwhelming going into the room for the first time for choreography. You see all the girls, and it’s just like, how are we going to make this work?

Q: How did you all practice together before meeting?

A: They send you video of the routines and you learn them on your own. We got to New York like five days in advance, so we had that long to prepare.

Q: What was the parade like?

A: They taught us five cheers while walking down the street, and they were easy, mostly just arm motions. Then when you get to the part you actually see on TV, that’s where we actually did the performance.

Q: How long did you have to cheer?

A: About two hours. It’s hard to say because it went by so fast, but slow, because you were freezing. It was actually called the coldest Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in history. They said it was 20 degrees, but windchill made it like 7 degrees.

Q: What were some of your favorite parts of the trip?

A: We walked around Central Park at night and saw the balloons for the parade blown up. We were waiting in line and it started snowing on us.

One of my favorite things was going to see “Aladdin” (the musical). I had seen musicals in Seattle, but never on Broadway in New York. And seeing the Rockettes.

Q: Do you see yourself cheering in the future?

A: I thought about trying out for the cheer team at the college I’m going to, but I don’t think I’m going to try out this year. Maybe for my sophomore year. I’m still thinking about if I want to make that commitment while in college.

Q: Where are you going to school?

A: Gonzaga University. I’m going to study nursing.

Q: Why nursing?

A: In second grade my grandpa died. Before, I would go see him and I didn’t like how I couldn’t help him, because I didn’t know how. From then on I wanted to help people who are sick.

Stephanie Davey: 425-339-3192;; Twitter: @stephrdavey.

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