Left Hand Valley Courier - All Local, All The Time

By Bruce Warren

Niwot cheerleader wins national title


Courtesy Photo National Cheerleading champions from Colorado, including Niwot student Shayla Amaya-Sidoti, won the Summit in Orlando.

Shayla Amaya-Sidoti has been a cheerleader since she was five years old, and it paid off in a national championship at age 15 with Ignite, a competitive co-ed cheerleading program based out of Lafayette.

“I was so excited,” Amaya-Sidoti said. “It was unbelievable that we won.” The 28-member squad traveled first to Minneapolis last December, winning the regional competition in the age division and a $25,000 “full pay” award to go to the national championships, known as the Summit, in Orlando, FL. “There were other winning age groups, but they only give one full pay award, and we had the highest score,” Amaya-Sidoti said.

In Florida, the competition was intense with 13 teams from around the country competing. “We knew we were good enough to win,” Amaya-Sidoti said. “We just didn’t know if we could pull it off.” When the final scores were in on May 7, the Colorado team had won the title with the highest score.

Amaya-Sidoti’s older sister was the first in the family to try competitive cheerleading, but she dropped out after several years. “It’s different than high school,” Amaya-Sidoti explained.“ It involves elite skills, such as tumbling and stunting. You could do both, but it would be hard due to the time demands.”

The squad practices three days a week at Cheer Central Suns. She has already begun practicing for the next season of competition, but teams won’t be formed until the end of July. Last year she was on a level 5-restricted co-ed team.

The junior-to-be at Niwot High School credits her mother, Regina Sidoti, for supporting her sefforts. Competitive cheerleading is expensive as only one team from all age groups at regionals earns a $25,000 grant for nationals.

“My mom works a lot of Broncos and Rapids games, and events at the Pepsi Center to raise money,” she said. Her mother is known to many in the Niwot community as the manager of the Niwot Subway store. She is also a familiar face at concession stands for pro and college events in the Denver metro area, which the cheerleaders’ parents staff to raise the funds to support the competitive cheerleaders.

“This team overcame lots of adversity and injuries this season,” Regina Sidoti said. “These kids never gave up and brought it at the Summit on May 6th and May 7th in Orlando Florida - the best two performances this team had all year long - and became Summit champions . I couldn’t be more proud of my daughter Shayla for achieving a dream and knowing how hard she works for it.”

Amaya-Sidoti has been to nationals four times in her cheerleading career, and was on one other squad that earned the full-pay award. But this is the first time she has been part of a national champion cheerleading team.

She already has her sights set on college, and is considering the University of Oklahoma. With two more years of high school, she’s looking forward to more competitions and a chance to earn another national championship.


Reader Comments


Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2019