KATY MAGAZINE NEWS November 25, 2019 By Ali Litton
Natalie Gendron, a seventh-grade cheerleader from Memorial Parkway Junior High in Katy, has been invited to participate in a one-of-a-kind pre-parade performance through Disney’s Magic Kingdom Park on Thanksgiving Day.
Photo Credit: LC Photographers
Natalie Gendron is one of more than 500 elementary, junior high and high school cheerleaders and dancers from across the country who will represent Varsity Spirit in the 2019 Thanksgiving Tour at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. The Katy teen earned the coveted spot to perform with the Varsity Spirit All-Americans during cheer camp.
All-Americans are selected via tryout based on either superior cheerleading or dance skills. Only the top 10% of the cheerleaders and dancers from Varsity Spirit camps earn the chance to march in a holiday parade of this caliber.
Excited for Disney Magic
There is plenty of hard work ahead for Natalie to prepare to represent Katy at the tour at Walt Disney World. But like any kid on their first trip to the “happiest place on earth,” Natalie is excited to take in the sights and experience the thrills at Disney. First on her list - meeting the Evil Queen and getting in line for the Flight of the Avatar ride.
Cheerleading is a relatively new endeavor for this Katy athlete. Having spent 11 years training as a dancer at Adamson Ballet School, Natalie felt the transition went smoothly, realizing the similar aspects between the two demanding activities. While she balances cheer and dance, Natalie admits she cannot see herself choosing one over the other.
“I haven’t decided between dance and cheer,” says Natalie. “This is a very big opportunity for cheer, but because I’ve been dancing for so long, I could never see myself giving it up.”
A Well-Rounded Student
While a solid dance and cheer schedule is enough to keep most kids busy, Natalie also satisfies her competitive spirit with volleyball and track. She also brings a refreshing dose of humility in her character. When asked about the things she enjoys, she shared that she “enjoys painting from time to time.” Her mother Lisa Anna divulged that Natalie is actually a very talented artist. She recently won third place for her painting at this year’s Katy Rice Harvest Festival.
Giving Time to the Community
Natalie’s humble spirit might have evolved from her volunteer work. She is a member of the National Charity League-Katy Chapter alongside her mother who is the current president. She has participated in volunteer activities with the Kidz Club summer reading program, Katy Christian Ministries’ resale shop, Citizens for Animal Protection, and the Brookwood Community.
It Starts at Home
Natalie has two sisters, Sydney (16) and Tricia (10) who attend James E. Taylor High School and Nottingham Country Elementary, respectively.The girls’ parents balance practices, competitions, dinners, volunteering, and activities to make sure everyone gets where they need to be.
“Throw in a full-time job and it can get pretty hectic, but my husband is amazing and we work together as a family to get it all done,” says Anna Lisa.
“Seeing Natalie’s face light up when she wins a game or she succeeds at a goal is everything.”
Natalie puts her heart and determination into reaching her goals. Her achievements offer a remarkable glimpse into the future leader she will become. Disney may just be the beginning of a long and exciting ride.