Wilton resident Kelsey Rhodes, an 8th grader at Middlebrook, along with her team Inferno from Xtreme Cheer Connecticut, just earned a full paid bid to compete in 2016 at The Worlds, the premier international competition in the cheerleading world. The United States All Star Federation (USASF) is host to The Cheerleading World Championship annually and teams compete throughout the season to earn the chance to participate in the Worlds, with only a select few earning a full paid bid. This international event brings together more than 9,000 cheer athletes to vie for world champion titles in senior and international club divisions and categories.

Extreme Cheer, a Norwalk, CT-based competitive cheer program, has been in existence for 13 years and this is the fourth time that they’ve earned a bid to compete in this high-profile event which takes place in April and is televised on ESPN. Perhaps most impressive is the fact that they garnered this award during their first competition of the season.

Inferno is comprised of athletes ranging in age from 14 to 35 who come from Connecticut and New York to compete on the team. Rhodes has been at Xtreme Cheer since 2010 when she started out on the gym’s youth team.

Owners Mike and Dana Talbot admit that this was undoubtedly the best start of any season thus far. “Along with one of our teams securing a bid to Worlds, our other teams had incredible showings with four teams winning first place and two second place wins. All of our athletes did amazing jobs on the mat,” notes Mike.