British sisters win world cheerleading champs despite one of them performing with a broken toe
17:22 GMT, 18 July 2012
Cheerleading is a U.S. institution but two British twins have beaten the Americans at their own game to become cheerleading world champions.
The feat was doubly remarkable because one of the 21-year-old sisters broke her toe just hours before the finals.
Stephanie and Natasha Trainor took the gold for Scotland at the glitzy championships in Orlando, Florida, after just two months preparation and despite Natasha having broken her big toe the night before.
Champion cheers: British twins Stephanie, left, and Natasha Trainor won the World Cheerleading Championships in Orlando, Florida, even though Natasha broke her toe the night before the final
Sister act: The pair said being twins helps their dancing because they know one another so well
Dance teacher and sales assistant Natasha, from Bearsden, East Dunbartonshire, Scotland, said: 'We had been training the night before with another team and just hit legs with another girl and landed awkwardly.
'There was no point in going to hospital. I just iced it and strapped it up. It was really painful but the adrenalin got the better of me on stage and I couldn't feel the pain. I was really panicking before we started about it, but Stephanie told me not to worry and made me feel a lot better. With Stephanie there, there was so much less pressure.'
The Scottish sisters – who have danced together for 19 years – believe being twins played a part in helping secure their unexpected victory.
Stephanie, also a dance teacher and waitress from Bearsden, said: 'We love dancing together. Obviously I know her and she knows me better than anyone else, but when we're dancing the twin thing definitely comes into play.
Doing Scotland proud: The twins, pictured third and fourth from left on the front row, also represented Scotland in the team event with their local troupe
'We don't even need to look at each other to know if one of us is going wrong and we automatically correct each other and bounce off each other. We dance very alike and have the advantage of already having danced together for so long. Other teams doing duos will be working to try and achieve that.'
The sisters were delighted to beat top teams from the U.S., Mexico and China after they went into the championships at short notice.
Stephanie explained: 'We were asked by Scot Cheer to
represent Scotland at a late stage – only two months before – so it never
even crossed my mind that we might win. We agreed to do it for a bit of
The cheerleaders also performed at the finals with their local troupe, Champion Dancer and Cheer Allstars, from Clydebank.
Top of the world: Stephanie, far right front row and Natasha, second from right front row, were delighted their duo act beat other teams from around the world after they only joined the Scot Cheer troupe with two months notice
The sisters were children when they took up cheerleading after their mother saw an advert for classes in the local paper. At first they were able to do cheerleading classes alongside dance lessons they already attended but eventually they had to decide which discipline to focus on entirely.
Stephanie said: 'We had started cheerleading as well as dancing but when we were 11 the dance school made us pick between the two. I couldn't believe they were making us pick at that age but we both picked cheerleading – there was no question about it.'
The twins have regularly been asked by footballing giants Celtic and Rangers to cheerlead at cup games and testimonials, including Celtic's 2-0 win over Ross County in the 2010 Scottish Cup Final at Hampden.
Dancing queens: The twins have been dancing from a young age and chose to focus on cheerleading at the age of 11
But having now reached the top of her field,
Natasha admitted that the injury to her toe will likely mark the end of
her cheerleading career.
She said: 'The injury probably will
affect my dancing in the future. I'll be giving up cheerleading so that I
can focus on auditioning for dance jobs and teaching. I'm never going
to beat World Champion so I'm quite happy to ending cheerleading now.'
Stephanie added: 'Being World Champion really opens
up your eyes to what's possible because never in a million years did I
think I could ever be the best in the world.'