FARMINGTON >> Traveling to London, England, to perform in the New Years Day parade has been a trip three years in the making for a Farmington High School student.
Farmington High School senior Bliss Campbell traveled during winter break to perform in the world famous London New Years Day parade along with nearly 500 high school cheerleaders and dancers from the United States.
Bliss was selected for the trip after qualifying as an All American during an Universal Dance Association camp held in Flagstaff, Ariz., in July 2013 and is a member of the Kelly Green dance squad at FHS. Members from the Universal Dance Association, Universal Cheerleaders Association, United Spirit Association, National Dance Alliance and the National Cheerleaders Association performed in the parade together.
"Everyone was excited to see us and we made a big chunk of the parade," Campbell said. "It was humbling to be with so many dancers that were great."
Campbell said she has qualified as an All American for the last three years but waited until her senior year in high school to participate in the London parade.
After being selected, Campbell had to raise about $3,000 for travel expenses for the trip and worked during summer break at Woods Insurance Service in Farmington doing office work. She also performed other jobs like baby-sitting to raise funds.
Campbell's mother, Vickie, who is a Kelly Green coach, said her daughter has done an outstanding job to qualify and pay for the trip herself.
"She had a goal and was able to figure it out," Vickie Campbell said. "Being a senior and ready to graduate and go to college, it was a good preparatory skill for that."
The dance routine for the parade route was sent on a DVD to Bliss Campbell so she could practice at home before arriving in London, where the performance was rehearsed once as a group before the parade.
Bliss Campbell said the dance routine was not difficult, which helped. It was performed about 10 to 15 times along the 3-mile parade route.
Combined, the drum majors, cheerleaders and dancers numbered nearly 700. They were divided into four groups which traveled the parade route together.
During the seven-day trip, the performers were able to take a tour of London which included visiting landmarks such as Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, Big Ben and the London Eye giant Ferris wheel.
"I'm really thankful I had the opportunity to go," Campbell said.