Tigers News · Kara Nienhaus Shines in Disney Christmas Spectacular Parade


This summer, the cheer program attended the Universal Cheerleading Association (UCA) camp at Southeast Missouri State University. While there, four varsity members were named All-American Cheerleaders: Maddie Brutton, Delaney O’Neill, McKenna Brawley and Kara Nienhaus. UCA offers one-of-a-kind experiences for their All American Cheerleaders.

Kara Nienhaus, took UCA up on their offer and flew to Florida to perform in the Christmas Spectacular Parade at Walt Disney World.

A few weeks before the parade, Kara was sent the parade music and a video demo of the routine. She had the learn the 2.5 minute routine on her own, and practice to make sure it was performance ready. When she arrived in Disney, she had a routine preview, where she was placed in a small group and had to wow the UCA staff members with her performance of the parade routine. Kara nailed her routine preview, and was placed in a better position in the parade to be seen by the crowd easier. She was in the 10th row on the end, in the perfect position for the parade goers to see!

While in Florida, she did have time to explore the park and socialize with the other cheerleaders. Kara mentions, “ I made a lot of new friends from everywhere across the U.S. and asked for tips from girls who have been in this for years already.” Her trip to Disney wasn’t all fun and games though. They did have about six hours of practice for the parade routine to make sure everything was perfect for parade day.

Disney really does make dreams come true. This was a great experience for Kara, and something hopefully more of our cheerleaders take advantage of in the future. Kara has nothing but great memories of her trip. “On parade day, as soon as I got in the park, little kids were walking up to me and telling me they wanted to be a cheerleader just like me someday, asking for pictures with me, and even asking for my autograph. Becoming a role model for younger kids made this trip complete for me, especially because I wasn’t expecting to get that kind of attention from others! Dancing in the parade felt unreal, it was a dream come true for me. I never stopped smiling and had so much fun interacting with the crowd and getting everyone excited. I’m hoping to work hard and go back senior year to experience it all over again!”