Tribal Government & News

Tribal member Kihya Bailey wins national cheer title

02.15.2024 Sherron Lumley Tribal member
Tribal member Kihya Bailey, 17, has won multiple medals cheering competitively. Her team, Oregon Dream Team, won first place in the senior co-ed category at the All Things Cheer Bellevue Grand Nationals in Bellevue, Wash., last month. (Photo by Michelle Alaimo)


By Sherron Lumley

Smoke Signals staff writer

As a cheerleader at McMinnville High School, Grand Ronde Tribal member Kihya Bailey won state and national titles with her team in 2021 and 2023.

This year, she began traveling to compete nationally year-round with an Oregon Dream Team cheer team, winning competitions throughout the U.S.

Her father, Tribal member Jeremy Bailey, doesn’t exactly describe himself as a cheer dad but he does happen to have the T-shirt. He and his wife, Kimberley, travel to various cheer competitions with the entire family in tow to support their daughter, who trains three to four hours every day.

“It takes a lot of dedication,” Kihya said. “I’m at the gym every day, three to four hours a day. It is way more competitive and a lot of work throwing girls. You have to have really good stamina. Sometimes after a stunt, I feel like I’m going to pass out.”

The competitive routine of two minutes and 30 seconds that her co-ed 4.2 level team performs includes stunting, dance and tumbling. A team’s level indicates the degree of difficulty allowed in the competition, with 6.0 being the highest level.

When asked what it felt like to win a third national championship with her new team, which is what occurred at a recent competition in Bellevue, Wash., Kihya said, “It was really exciting, a lot of adrenaline.”

“As parents, you’re feeling just as nervous as the athletes out there,” Jeremy said.

Kimberly agreed. 

“This is our first year in all-star cheer,” she said. “I’m definitely very proud of her and her dedication to her team and coaches as well as herself, even with injuries and the pressure and excitement. It makes me strive harder as a parent to be the best example I can be for her.”





Personal growth and long-time friends are two of the best rewards that have come from participating, Kihya said, and she has grown as a cheerleader and a student since the time she began cheer in kindergarten.

Her next competition will be Feb. 16-17 in Las Vegas, Nev., and the entire Bailey family will be driving there to see it. This is the fourth largest competition in the world.

Additionally, her team has also been invited to compete in Orlando, Fla., at a competition known as The Summit, held May 2-5 at Walt Disney World. This coincides with Cheerleading World Championships, which is reserved for level-six squads.

Little sister Kinleigh Bailey, 11, is following in her sister’s footsteps, competing in youth cheerleading as a sixth-grader, developing competitive skills such as back handsprings and moving up each year to different levels. At her current level, a routine of 46 seconds involves a cheer, a dance and tumbling.

“I never expected to have two amazing daughters who love to cheer,” Jeremy said.

All the siblings are athletic, he said, including Keenen, 25; Kihya 17; Kason, 13; Kinleigh, 11; and Kallie, 8. Their great-grandmother was Tribal member Priscilla Hofenbredl and their grandmother is Tribal member Julie Logan.

In addition to cheer and playing softball for McMinnville, Kihya worked for the Tribe the past two summers, most recently as an emergency medical technician intern. The high school senior was just accepted into the pre-med program at University of Arizona and plans to try out for the team this April.