Cheerleading pays off for high school student

WHITEVILLE, NC (WECT) - A cheerleading competition in Raleigh in 2010 led to a Columbus County student earning a trip to Hawaii, to dance in front of thousands of people during the 2011 Pro Bowl.

Whiteville High School student Macelyn Batten, 16, is involved in many clubs and activities at the school in addition to her regular classes.  She is a cheerleader for the school and competed last year for a chance to dance during the NFL's Pro Bowl game in Honolulu.

"I was nervous. I thought it was going to be like standing out there and just wanted to get it over with," explained Macelyn.  "But once I got out there and on the field and started taking it all in, I just didn't want it to be over and it went by so quick, I wish I was still there."

Macelyn and her family spent all of last week in Hawaii, with practices scheduled at different times of the day.  During those rehearsals, organizers of the pre-game and halftime dance performances noticed something special about Macelyn.

"At first, I tried out for the feature dancer team, and I won that, and then they placed us in positions and I was made the point of the pyramid," said Macelyn.  "That as just a shock to me, I never thought I would be the point of a pyramid and found myself in front of 50,000 people and 80 million people watching on television."

Her cheerleading coach and teacher, Gina Deans, said she's not surprised where Macelyn was placed in the formation.

"She definitely is a college's dream," said Gina Deans.  "She has a lot to offer, personally, she is as sweet as they come, but she is as motivated and driven as any athlete that you will find."

Macelyn has another year left at Whiteville High School, then she plans to attend college and said she likes the idea of getting that education in Hawaii.

But during the upcoming summer, she has already landed a job.

"I got a job teaching dancing all along the east coast this summer, so I will be doing that," said Macelyn.

Next January, she has another event to attend.  She has been invited to return for another performance in the 2012 Pro Bowl.

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