How to Stay “Cheer-Ready” over Summer Break

Summer break is here, which means no school and fun in the sun.  For most of us it also means no cheerleading until football season starts back up.  How can you stay “cheer-ready” during your summer break?

 

  • Stay in shape!  You do not want to be huffing and puffing through practices when they start back up!  Plan to do something active several times a week- jogging, aerobics, really anything that gets your heart rate up and will improve your endurance.  Remember that those 3 hour football games are only two months away!

 

  • Work on your flexibility!  Summer is not the time to relax on working on your jumps!  Instead make it a time to advance and impress your squad and coaches.  I asked my cheerleaders to do a minimum of 25 jumps on each leg, each night, and most importantly STRETCH!

 

  • Work on your techniques, including motions, voice, tumbling, etc!  Summer is the perfect time to improve on your skills.  Join a tumbling class or see if your local gym has cheer classes available.

 

  • Think about ways to help build school spirit when school starts back up! Maybe your squad should make posters or plan a welcome back pep rally?  The best way to generate excitement for football season is to unite your student body.

 

Have fun as a squad!  Plan a squad sleepover, movie night, or other team-building activity.  Staying connected with your squad during summer break will guarantee a stronger squad during the school year.

By: Carrie Batson

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Introducing: Lori!

                                                               Lori

Lori Todd has been in the cheer and dance industry most of her life. Most recently, Lori stepped down after nine years as coach of the national champion SMU Pom Squad and SMU Mini Mustangs, a program she started. Lori was also the director of the national award-winning Hillcrest High School Panthers for seven years. Having studied ballet for 16 years, Lori joined her high school drill team as a sophomore and was the captain her senior year. Lori then studied journalism at the University of North Texas, where she danced on the dance team and was captain her senior year. Lori spent two years as a Dallas Mavericks Dancer as well. She judges cheer and dance on the local, regional and national level and worked for NCA/NDA for over 10 years. Lori currently is the journalism teacher, yearbook and newspaper adviser at Hillcrest High School in Dallas.

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Summer Tips for Drill and Dance Team Members

By: Lori Todd 

Yea! You have done it! You have made the dance team for the 2014-2015 season and now it is summer. Your first performance is most likely under your belt because the spring game or spring show of the previous year’s team is over and so you feel like you can just sit back and relax until pre-camp practices or camp gets here. Well, that is where you are wrong! As a team member, it is always important that you are thinking ahead and being proactive to add to your success and the success of your team! Below are four tips for the summer to help you stay ahead of the game for the upcoming year!

 

Work that Flexibility – It is super important to not lose your flexibility over the summer. Be sure to continue to stretch to ensure that you won’t be the one on the sidelines watching your friends at halftime during football season. The best time to stretch your muscles is when they are warm, so after a workout or after a hot shower or bath. Be sure to spend at least 16 seconds in each position, and if you are preparing for jump splits, research the best stretches for groin and hamstring muscles. Crank up your Pandora and get to stretching! You will be glad you did once practices start up again.

 

Sharpen up your Technique – There is no such thing as too much technique, so get in classes this summer so that you can really be prepared for those double turns and grand jetes! Remember that these will likely be required of you once camp or boot camp/pre-school practices arrive. Having solid technique is what makes a good dancer a great dancer, so really pay attention to the fundamentals of dance and find a technique class near you. If classes aren’t an option, maybe an officer or the captain of your team would be willing to hold a free class at the school’s dance studio or gymnasium. It never hurts to ask!

 

Practice your game day look – What teenage girl doesn’t love to play with hair and make-up? This summer can be the time that you perfect your game day look. Most dance/drill teams require you to wear your hair and make up a certain way, so why not get a jump start? Practice makes perfect. Ask your big sis or officer what the requirements are and practice away. You will find out soon that there isn’t a lot of time between Friday’s last school bell and the time you have to be in line for inspection before the game. Get in front of the mirror today, and grab a friend while you’re at it. Most things are better with a teammate!

 

Pack up an emergency kit of essentials – Game days are always super busy and super fun! Team members are running around like crazy trying to get dressed, eat, put their make up on and practice the routine the night’s routine. It never fails that right in the middle of the craziness, someone realizes that they have forgotten something. Invest in an inexpensive plastic container with multiple compartments is the best and fill it with the essentials. My list would include: safety pins, bobby pins, elastic hair ties, a hairnet, Band-Aids, feminine products, a “Tide to-go” pen, nail polish remover pads and an extra pair of false eyelashes. You can never be TOO prepared.

 

 

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CUSTOMER SPOTLIGHT: Notre Dame School of Dallas, Cheer Squad

Hello! Let me introduce myself. I am Nancy Wiley, one of the coaches for the Cheer Squad out of Notre Dame School of Dallas.

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Notre Dame is the only school exclusively devoted to educating students who are mild to moderately intellectually disabled.  The enrollment is 150 students ranging from 6 to 21 years of age who can participate in many Special Olympics sports including bowling, flag football, volleyball, basketball, soccer and track.  The cheerleading program started back in 2002 with several different coaches along the way and hand-me-down uniforms that were way too big for the girls who wanted to be a cheerleader.

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In November 2008 (when the cheer coach did not show up for an event and told the principal she quit being the coach) the principal asked if I wanted to oversee the cheerleaders.   I told her that I would help the assistant coach (Missy) anyway I could and within an hour we both had an e-mail stating “Thank you both for volunteering to help with cheerleading, please get the girls’ measurements and order uniforms!”.

So, in January 2009, we started with 28 girls and new uniforms that fit each girl and through the years we have lost and added girls to the squad.  We also added two boys to the squad about three years ago.  For the upcoming school year the squad will have about 20 cheerleaders with ages ranging from 12 to 21.  We have weekly practices through February, and every summer we have a week long cheer camp.  From the beginning, Missy and I have treated this squad as a NORMAL Cheer Squad, fitting with one of the school slogans,  “no limits ~ just possibilities.”

The NDS Cheer Squad cheers at many our school’s Special Olympics games; flag football and volleyball in the fall, and basketball (four to five teams) in the winter.  We also perform at The Down Syndrome Buddy Walk in November, March for Respect in March and at all of our school pep rallies.  One day my goal is to get the cheerleaders out to cheer on the soccer and track team.  Basketball season is our busiest time of the year; it starts off the second weekend in January and goes to the end of February with 3 Basketball tournaments.  With having four to five basketball teams at NDS we cheer at least one game for each team pre-tournament.  So in one day we may cheer at five games plus doing opening ceremonies.

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 I could not do this coaching job without the help of my sidekick Missy Ruvaldt.  We were never in cheerleading growing up, so we came into this job with a notebook of cheers that were passed down from previous coaches as well as internet searches of different cheer motions where we teach the girls the movements.   At our first cheer camp we asked the girls to come up with some new cheers and WOW!   The next day all 25 girls came with cheers that moms/sisters helped with or some they made up all by themselves.  And to this day we are still using some of those cheers.  We also have two cheer dances we do to the songs “Firework” and “Safe and Sound”.

Opposing teams often ask us: “Are your cheerleaders coming to cheer today?” and if the answer is “no”, usually the responses are “Oh, we were hoping they would be here. We love to see them perform and cheer at the games”.   So, our plan for the new cheer year is “we are going even if we only have two cheerleaders!”.

As I stated earlier we try to treat the squad as a ‘NORMAL’ cheer squad, if there is a normal way a squad is supposed to be run.  We do not see the disabilities the students have we just see them as teenagers and young adults.

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AMA & TX UIL MAKE BIG ANNOUNCEMENTS

Progress is being made in the cheer world. One day in the near future, Cheerleading may be accepted as and given, the title so many feel it deserves as a SPORT.

Earlier this month, the American Medical Association (AMA) made the decision to designate Cheerleading as a sport. While there was much debate regarding the subject, many made the push for change citing the high level of injury involved in the ever growing sport. This new designation will help to ensure proper safety training for coaches and athletes along with providing improved safety guidelines.

While this is a move in the right direction for Cheerleading as a sport, there is still a way to go. The debate is still going strong in Texas, but some tentative first steps have been made. The UIL or University Interscholastic League who responsible for overseeing educational extracurricular academic, athletic, and music contests, made the decision today (June 11) to give Game Day Cheer a chance at joining their list of official activities. The board initially turned down a proposition to test a program in the 2014-2015 school year citing budgetary concerns but immediately turned around and approved a motion to try the pilot program in the following school year, 2015-2016

Many coaches, parents, and cheerleaders, have pushed for official recognition of Cheerleading and the athleticism involved. These initial steps will hopefully increase awareness and acceptance of these athletes as well as, provide oversight and important safety guidelines for the protection of future athletes to come in the SPORT of CHEERLEADING.

 

AMA Announcement: http://www.medpagetoday.com/SportsMedicine/EliteSports/46236

UIL Announcement: http://www.dallasnews.com/sports/high-schools/headlines/20140610-texas-high-school-cheerleader-competition-may-get-uil-tryout.ece

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FIVE Expert Tips to Prepare your Middle School Squad for Cheer Camp!

Cheerleading camp is one of the most exciting times of the cheer season.  But for new middle school squads (and parents) that have never experienced it before, it can be overwhelming.  Here are some tips to prepare your squad for camp:

#1 – Prepare the cheerleaders (and parents)!  Hold a camp meeting with cheerleaders and parents to go over the daily schedule and let the parents know when they are invited to attend.  Prepare your cheerleaders for long hours.  Encourage parents to bond as a team (just like your squad).  They can wear spirit shirts and make signs for support, which can be used again during football season.

#2- Decide on your squad’s goals for camp!  Is your squad going to camp to learn new cheers, chants and dances, or are you there to win a bid to a national competition?  Or maybe you just want your new cheerleaders to bond as a team?  Decide with your squad, ahead of time, what the most important thing is that they want to accomplish at camp and remind them of these goals whenever their energy is lacking.

#3- Practice a little bit of everything!  Camp will be a time of major learning for your middle school team members, but a few days of practice beforehand can really help improve their confidence.  Review basic motions, jumps and stunts.  I also had my squad practice chanting and yelling as a team, during any transition time, just like they do at camp.

#4- Prepare an emergency kit!  Even though there should be a medic at the camp, pack a bag with extra medical supplies. Band-aids, tape, sore muscle cream, etc. can be very handy.  Also include extra bows, briefs, socks, feminine hygiene products, deodorant, hair spray, rubber bands and anything else you think your squad might need (or forget) at the last minute.  Pack yourself something for a headache- 8 hours of screaming cheerleaders will definitely give you one!

#5 – Focus on the Fun!  Camp can be long hours for everyone and keeping your squad’s energy and enthusiasm up can be quite the task.  Recognize when your squad needs a break, and give them time to be silly and take a break from the serious stuff.  Keep your squad focused on the fun of camp and the success will follow!  These camp experiences will be remembered for a lifetime!

~ Carrie, guest blogger

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Introducing: Carrie!

Our newest guest blogger!

Carrie - Our latest Blogger

Carrie has been in the cheer and dance world for 25 years as a participant, coach and more recently, cheer mom. She was a cheerleader in elementary, middle and high school and coached middle school cheer for 10 years. She is a middle school history teacher and currently the East Texas Sales Rep for Cheerleading Company. We are pleased to have Carrie on board!

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CHEEROBICS!

CHEER + FITNESS = Fat Burning Fun!
Become a Cheerobics Instructor!
CROB11 Cheerobics DVD and Pom Package
Cheerobics® returns for another Instructor Training tour, this time stopping by Las Vegas, San Diego, Austin, Atlanta, Philadelphia and Boston! After being featured on the Dr. Oz show last November, the team at Cheerobics® have had increasing demands to add more classes for adults and kids around all of the USA.  Because of this demand, they are recruiting more cheerleading coaches, dance teachers and fitness instructors to join their team of Instructors and also Regional Reps and Master trainers.
Cheerobics® is an amazing cheerleading fitness class that burns up to 700 calories per session, gets anyone of all ages and levels to love cheerleading, and also improves stamina, conditioning and motion technique. This is your opportunity to train as an instructor with Jessica Zoo, founder of Cheerobics®!
Cheerobics® is expanding fast, so this is your chance to get involved – they are still looking for Instructors to be selected as Regional Reps & Master Trainers (aka Cheerobics® Allstars) – and this could be your chance to represent and grow your own community of classes and grow your cheerleading program through a variety of additional classes and activities for adults and kids.
Classes are perfect for:
  • Anyone who always wanted to know how to be a cheerleader, but never had the opportunity to
  • Anyone who wants to become a cheerleader, and needs to start from zero before attending tryouts or join a team
  • Moms and friends of cheerleaders who want to get a bit more involved in the cheer activities (they can get fit while the kids go to training!)
  • Anyone who wants to improve their fitness and join an exciting, fun class
  • Cheerleaders: a complementary training focused on improving cardiovascular fitness as well as muscle strength and endurance
  • ‘Retired’ cheerleaders: offering relevant fitness class which they can continue all their life
For more information please visit http://www.cheerobics.net/#!instructor-courses/c1vi2.   If you want more information about the Cheerobics® Home DVD Experience, please visit http://www.cheerleading.com/cheerobics.php.
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SPOTLIGHT ON: CHEER XPLOSION ALLSTARS !

 

We are a small gym with a super large heart! That is attributed to one thing. The coaching staff. I believe athletes are taught what they learn and see around them. That was evident by a couple teams that we faced at competitions this past season. Telling our girls that they sucked and that “they got this”. Our girls never once retaliated even though they ended up taking second by .4.  It showed when our girls went on to win the sportsmanship award for their presentation.

 

Our coaches always teach the girls that it doesn’t matter what the outcome is or the hardware that you bring home. Sure that is the awesome perk. What matters is that you bring your best to the mat, leave any frustrations on the mat and most of all have fun. We’ve had a great season this year and come home with three national titles and a couple grands, but in those competitions where they didn’t quite hit that stunt or nail that tumbling pass our coaches told them to keep their chins up. It’s no one persons fault. You win as a team, you lose as a team.

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Being the mother of a flyer that really makes me feel better that these girls are not being taught that any one person can ruin the routine. My daughter goes out with confidence when she flys and if she makes a mistake she is upset, because she feels she let her team down, not because she’s going to be yelled at or pulled from the stunt. We’ve been there going on 7 years now and have never once felt unloved or unappreciated.

 

Hats off to the coaches at Cheer Xplosion Allstars in Denver, NC

Dawn Reep

Haley Furr

Kyle Sain

Kelsey Williams

Submitted by : ~Lynn~

 

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2014 WORLDS results

A HUGE shoutout to ALL the teams that participated at Worlds 2014 this past weekend! Congratulations Top 5!

WORLDS results (1)

 

 

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