Twisting and Shouting
Spring time isn’t just a time for flowers to bloom and spring football games but it is also the time of the year for the biggest Cheerleading event in the World, affectionately called the USASF Cheerleading Worlds. For the past eight years thousands of All-star Cheerleaders from more than 40 different countries have descended on Orlando Fl. to compete for the coveted “Gold Globe”. In 2011 our very own locally-owned and operated Twist and Shout won the event in the Large Limited Coed Division.
“Last year was like a dream come true for us. We had been so close for so many years. To finally win it felt surreal” Said Orson Sykes who owns the gym with is wife Marketia. Twist and Shout will defend their title April 27th and 28th at Disney Worlds Wide World of Sports complex. “We feel a little more pressure to perform well this year as the defending world champions” said Jordan Rafter who is a graduating senior at Edmond North Highschool and has competed at the championship for four years. “I think that we have an amazing team. We just have to focus on hitting our routine and not worry about the anyone else” said Rafter. This will be Twist and Shout’s eight consecutive appearance at the championship.
The local gym is taking three teams to compete at the event this year. The divisions that they will be competing in are: Medium coed which has 30 members including six males, International Open All-girl (24 members all females) and International Open Coed (24 members consisting of 12 females and 12 males). “Having three teams there will be a lot more work for the coaches but it will be great for the kids because they will have more fans cheering for them” said Andrea Williams who is of the coaches at Twist and Shout. The ages of the teams range from 14yrs to age 25 and some of the members travel from all over the state and even out of state to train at the nationally recognized facility.
This year will be an extra special Worlds experience for the group from Edmond because Orson Sykes is being inducted into the USASF Cheerleading Hall of Fame. “I was in shock when I received the news that I was being inducted into the Hall of Fame. I sat in my home office alone and shed a few tears” Sykes recalls. Sykes and his wife Marketia started Twist and Shout in 1996 in a small store front property in Bryant Square Shopping Center. Orson found favor with a local businessman who saw potential in him and funded the entire business
venture. “It wasn’t like I was looking for an investor at the time. It felt like he was an angel sent by God” I had been turned down by numerous banks to start Twist and Shout. I was young and didn’t have anything but faith in the ability that God had given me to coach” That faith took his cheer program to the top quickly.
Winning over 200 State, National and International championships combined. Sykes and Twist and Shout have become one of the industry’s Elite cheer programs. Sykes says “I still love what I do. I love helping young people reach their potential on and off the floor. For me it is more than just tumbling and cheering it’s about making an positive impact in the lives of young people” Twist and Shout has four locations: Edmond, Tulsa, Midwest City and Stillwater. The organization trains young people from age 4 and up in the areas of tumbling and cheerleading.
Share this Story