Two Sierra Pacific High School cheerleaders had the opportunity to perform in two different countries during their winter break.

Senior Samantha Mello and sophomore Anastyn McVay traveled abroad to London and Rome, respectively, as All Americans representing the United States.

Head Cheer Coach Betty McVay said both girls got the opportunity to explore the countries they were in and perform in front of thousands of spectators.

Samantha Mello is an SPHS team captain and was nominated as an All American cheerleader by the National Cheerleading Association when she attended camp at University of California, Santa Cruz, in July 2018.

McVay said Samantha received her nomination as an outstanding cheerleader for her strong leadership abilities.

On Dec. 26, Samantha traveled to London, England, where she stayed for a week and performed with other top cheerleaders from the U.S. in the New Year's Day Parade.

“London was a life changing experience. The feeling of being one person in a city of millions is one that I’ll always love and remember," Samantha said. "I learned that the world is so much more than I could ever imagine. I fell in love with walking down the street and hearing different languages and looking up at buildings that people have looked up at for hundreds of years.”

Anastyn McVay is a member of both the cheer and dance team for Sierra Pacific and also received an All American cheerleader nomination from the National Cheerleading Association in July 2018

In addition, McVay said Anastyn was also inducted into the United Spirit Association's All American dance team in August 2018.

Since Anastyn received a distinction for both cheer and dance, she was given the option to perform in London or Rome, Italy. She has an extensive background as a competitive dancer, so she chose the dance performance.

On Dec. 26, Anastyn traveled to Rome for a New Year's Day performance with participants from all over the world.

“It was amazing to travel halfway around the world and see a new place, meet new people and learn about a new culture," Anastyn said. "What made it even more amazing was the fact that doing something I love so much is what took me there. I will never forget what it felt like to dance in Rome with such a huge audience cheering me on.”

McVay said the school is very proud of their accomplishments.

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