The Large Senior Curse Lives On

For years, rumors have swirled around the cheer industry about a “Large Senior Curse” for the L5 Large Senior All Girl division.

The curse is fairly simple: “If you win NCA, you won’t win Worlds.”

After a very successful season of not only winning NCA, but taking the Varsity Triple Crown (winning CHEERSPORT, NCA and UCA All Star titles) this season, it looked as though Orange would be on track to take home the coveted win in this division at the 2017 Cheerleading Worlds. Continue Reading

The Large Senior Curse Lives On

For years, rumors have swirled around the cheer industry about a “Large Senior Curse” for the L5 Large Senior All Girl division.

The curse is fairly simple: “If you win NCA, you won’t win Worlds.”

After a very successful season of not only winning NCA, but taking the Varsity Triple Crown (winning CHEERSPORT, NCA and UCA All Star titles) this season, it looked as though Orange would be on track to take home the coveted win in this division at the 2017 Cheerleading Worlds.

The Orange Rays were going into Finals in third place, which isn’t uncommon for any team in this division to go in as an underdog on Day 1 and swoop in with a buzz worthy performance on Day 2. But, after a few stunt falls in finals, it was clear that the curse lived on for our Orange Rays.

World Cup Shooting Stars ended up on top as World Champion this season, but let’s be honest, it’s almost always a toss up in the Large Senior L5 division when these ladies put on a show. This Worlds Championship was one for the history books as we saw amazing performances from Senior Elite, Panthers, AND F5.

2017 Cheerleading Worlds Results

The USASF Cheerleading Worlds Championship is held annually at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Twelve divisions make up the elite championship for all star cheerleading for Level 5 and Level 6 athletes from around the globe. Continue Reading

2017 Cheerleading Worlds Results

The USASF Cheerleading Worlds Championship is held annually at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Twelve divisions make up the elite championship for all star cheerleading for Level 5 and Level 6 athletes from around the globe.

Senior Small All Girl L5:

Finalists –
ICE – Lady Lightning
2. Woodlands Elite – Generals
3. Central Jersey All Stars – Bombshells
4. Cheer Extreme – Raleigh – SSX
5. The California All Stars – Lady Bullets
6. East Celebrity Elite – CT – Fame
7. The Stingray All Stars – Apple
8. Top Gun All Stars  – Angels
9. Twist & Shout – Muskogee – Lady Eve
10. KC Cheer – FEARLESS

Prelims & Semi Finalists –
11. Champion Cheer – Heat
12. Cheer Athletics  – OnyxCats
13. Green Bay Elite All-Stars – Lime
14. Midwest Cheer Elite – Femme Feline
15. All Star Legacy – Lady X
16. Georgia Heat – Inferno
17. World Cup – BLACKOUT
18. Rain Athletics – Aqua
19. Greensboro All Star Cheerleading – Diamond Elite
20. PCT Cobras (Canada) – Vengeance
21. Cheer Express Allstars – Miss Silver
22. Jersey Pride – Liberty
23. All Star One – Lady Bang
24. ICON Cheer – Lady Envy
25. Elite Heat All-Stars – 24K
26. Spirit Central – Bengals
27. Step One North – Phenom
28. Fire & Ice Allstars – 5 Alarm
29. Cheer Legendz – Pumaz
30. Cheer Factor – X-Factor
31. Cheer Intensity All-Stars – Lady Lions
32. Twisters – Gold
33. Fire House Gym – Lady Boom
34. Pacific Coast Magic – Southern CA – Fantasy
35. Bravo All Stars – Queen B’s
36. River City Allstars – Lady Sizzle
37. USA Starz – Vanity
38. Premier Athletics – Michigan Xtreme – Lady Legacy
39. Midwest Xplosion – Blackout
40. Kansas City Athletic Cheer – KCAC Platinum
41. New York Icons – Empire
42. Fire & Ice Allstars – Lady Ice
43. Star Athletics – Senior Red
44. Ohio Extreme – Queens
45. Full House All Stars – Lady Sharks
46. Revolution Athletics – Revolution

Senior Medium All Girl L5:

Finalists –
1. East Celebrity Elite – M5 Bombshells
2. Spirit of Texas – A-Team
3. Top Gun All Stars – Lady Jags
4. The Stingray All Stars – Peach
5. FAME All Stars – Super Seniors
6. Elite Cheer – Stars
7. New Jersey Spirit Explosion – FAB5
8. Ultimate Athletics – Legacy
9. World Cup – Suns
10. South Jersey Storm – Lady Reign

Prelims & Semi Finalists –
Twist & Shout – Obsession
12. The California All Stars – Aces
13. Cheer Athletics  – AthenaCats
14. ICE – Weather Girls
15. Cheers & More – Lady Respect
16. Cheer Extreme – Waldorf – Shade
17. World Cup – Zenith
18. Cheer Extreme – Chicago – Passion
19. FCA Gems – Diamonds
20. American Elite Allstars – Celebrity
21. Cheer Extreme – Charlotte – Lady Elite
22. Woodlands Elite – G.I. Janes
23. Platinum Athletics – PAC5
24. Brandon All-Stars – Senior Pink
25. Cheer Sport Sharks (Canada) – Smallfin Sharks
26. Connect Cheer  – C5
27. Cheer City United – Lady Titans

 Senior Large All Girl L5:

Finalists –
 .World Cup – Shooting Stars
2. Cheer Athletics – Panthers
3. Cheer Extreme – Senior Elite
4. Maryland Twisters – F5
5. The Stingray Allstars – Orange
6. ACE Cheer Company – Chiefs
7. Pittsburgh Superstars – Supermodels
8. Flyers All Starz (Canada) – Obsession
9. Hotcheer AllStars – HOT5
10. Cheerleading Coyotes (Canada) – Wonder Pack
11. Cheer Savannah Allstars – Lady Lace

Senior Small Coed L5:

Finalists –
Brandon All-Stars – Senior Black
2. Prodigy All Stars – Midnight
4. The California All Stars – SMOED
5. Twist & Shout – Tulsa – Diamonds
6. Central Jersey All Stars – Team Gunz
7. ICE – Thunder
8. World Cup – Odyssey
9. Vizion – 20/20
10. CheerForce  – Blackout

Prelims & Semi Finalists –
Cheer Central Suns – Revolution
12. Woodlands Elite – Recon
13. ACX – Kat Daddies
14. Maryland Twisters – Blackout
15. Macs Allstar Cheer – Senior Starz
16. Pro Athletics – PROED
17. Ohio Extreme – Royal Vibe
18. Louisiana Cheer Force – Gold
19. Cheer World – Omega
20. Cheer Athletics – Charlotte – RoyalCats
21. Stars Vipers – Royal Cobras
22. Five Star Athletics – Dream
23. Georgia All Stars – Coed 5
24. Florida Top Dog All Stars – RAIN
25. Premier Athletics – Knoxville West – Great White Sharks
26. Desert Storm Elite – Rage
27. East Celebrity Elite – CT – Empire
28. GymTyme Illinois – FEVER
29. Tribe Cheer – Chiefs
30 TIE. Tiger Elite – Fierce 5
30 TIE. Bay State All Stars – Surge
32. FCA Gems – Onyx
33. Maryland Twisters – Cobalt
34. Indiana Ultimate – U5
35. New York Icons – Perfection
36. Charlotte All Stars – Teal
37. Tumble Tech – Alpha
38. Rock Starz All Stars – Diamonds
39. Island Xtreme – Legacy
40. Macs Allstar Cheer – Obsession
41. All Star One  – Big Bang
42. Cheer Tyme – Obsession
43. USA! All Stars- Stafford – FEVER
44. Fusion All Stars – Inferno
45. Platinum Athletics – Onyx
46. Cheer Force Arkansas – Falcons
47. Flip City All Stars – Blackout
48. Cheer St. Louis – Archangels
49. Titanium Athletics – Bionic
50. Cheer Extreme – Richmond – X5
51. Pennsylvania Elite Cheerleading – Guardians
52. Thrive All Stars – Onyx

Senior Medium Coed L5:

Finalists –
The California All Stars – Black Ops
2. Rockstar Cheer – Beatles
3 TIE. Cheer Extreme – Raleigh – SMOEX
3 TIE. Maryland Twisters – Reign
5. Woodlands Elite – Black Ops
6. Spirit of Texas – Royalty
7. World Cup – Omni
8. Midwest Cheer Elite – Diamondkatz
9. Top Gun All Stars – Fierce 5
10. Core Athletix Rochester – Black Diamonds

*Ties are broken by deductions.

Prelims & Semi Finalists –
11. East Celebrity Elite – C5 Bomb Squad
12. GymTyme All-Stars – Platinum
13. CheerVille Athletics – Anarchy
14. Step One All Stars – XO
15. Gem of Champions – Black Diamond
16. Fire & Ice Allstars – Hail
17. Central Florida Athletics – Black JAX
18 TIE. State All Stars – Coed 5
18 TIE. Tribe Athletics – TRIBE-5
20. Ultimate Allstars – Super 5
21. Bama All Starz – Black Diamondz
22. ACX Diamonds – Diamond Daddies
23. Halifax Cheer Elite (Canada) – Blue Crew
24. Cheer Station – Flyers
25. Mississippi Gym of Dreams – Eclipse

Senior Large Coed L5:

Finalists –
The Stingray All Stars – Steel
2. Cheer Athletics – Cheetahs
3. Top Gun All Stars – TGLC
4. The California All Stars – Cali Coed
5. Cheer Extreme – Coed Elite
6. ACE Cheer Company – Warriors
7. ICE – Radar
8. FAME All Stars – Vengeance
9. Spirit Athletics – Affliction
10. Ultimate Athletics – Valor

Semi Finalists –
Pro Cheer – Eagles
12. Oregon Dream Teams – Dream
13. Cheer Eclipse – Comets
14. Shockwave All Stars – Code 5

International All Girl Open 5:

Finalists –
1. Flyers All Starz (Canada) – Knockout
2. Cheer Sport Sharks (Canada) – Great White Sharks
3. The California All Stars – Sparkle
4. Cheer Extreme – Raleigh – Cougars
5. Unity Allstars (England) – Ruby
6. Desert Storm Elite – Bliss
7. Southern Cross Cheerleading (Australia) – SCC Lady Reign
8. Coventry Dynamite (England) – Lady Grenades
9. Rising Stars (England) – Ellipse
10. Queensland Cheer Elite (Australia) – Diamonds

Prelims & Semi Finalists –
Black Widow Cheer Gym (Canada) – Love
12. JASCF ELITE 5 (Japan)
13. Wildcats Leverkusen (Germany) – Wildcats IO5
14. Cheer Infinity Athletics (Sweden) – Envy
15. CLL Spurs (Germany) – CLL Spurs
16. Shine Allstars (Germany) – Shine Graces
17. Team Italy (Italy) – FISAC Wildcats
18. Charmers Cheerleading (Norway) – Charmers All Stars
19. OCT Galaxy (Norway) – Shine
20. Stavanger Diamonds Cheersport (Norway) – Silver Diamonds
21. Team Netherlands (Netherlands) – Frisian Cheer Stars
22. Colombian All Stars (Colombia) – Coas
23. Vienna Pirates (Austria) – R’n’P Black Ocean
24.   South Africa National Team
25. Vancouver All Stars (Canada) – Ice Queens
26. Pittsburgh Pride All Stars – Mane 5
27. Intensity Cheer Extreme (England) – ICE 5
28. Full House All Stars – Jokers
29. ACE Athletics (Canada) – O.P.P
30. Crown Athletics – Allegiance
31. Alberta Cheer Empire (Canada) – Synergy
32. Predator Athletics (England) – Lady Anacondas
33. Casablanca Cheer (England) – Cosmic 5
34. Max Force Cheerleading (Canada) – Voltage
35. Champion Cheerleading (Canada) – Flawless
36. Surrey Starlets (England) – Amethyst
37. Spirit All-Stars – Lady Kryptonite
38. Charmers Cheerleading (Norway) – Charmers All Stars

International Open Small Coed L5:

Finalists –
1. Cheer Athletics – SwooshCats
2. Pirates Athletics (Canada) – Golden Gun
3. The Stingray All Stars – Electric
4. Prodigy All Stars – Blacklight
5. Mystic All Stars (Canada) – Mango 5
6. East Coast Allstars (Australia) – Phoenix
7. Dragones Elite (Chile) – Jackson Dragons
8. ZOO Athletics (Australia) – Royals
9. Kingston Elite All Star (Canada) – Royal
10. Wildcats Leverkusen (Germany) – Wildcats IOSC5
11. Gothenburg Cheer One (Sweden) – Cougars
12. Brisbane All Star Cheerleading (Australia) – Xenon
13. Ice Panthers (Ecuador) – ESPE
14. SKY C&G (Chile) – Sky Jupiter
15. Wildcats All Star (Chile) – Wildcats Starlites
16. Strike Force Ireland (Ireland) – Snipers
17. Aira United Belgium (Belgium) – Aira United Diamond
18. ABCVE Dragons France (France) – Dragons Desire
19. Stuntworx Elite (Ireland) – Alliance

International Open Large Coed L5:

Finalists –
1. CheerForce – Nfinity
2. Top Gun All Stars – OO5
3. Cheer Athletics – Wildcats
4. Flyers All Starz (Canada) – Notorious
5. Outlaws Allstars (Australia) – Notorious
6. Coventry Dynamite (England) – Ignite
7. Fire All Stars (Puerto Rico)
8. PCT Cobras (Canada) – Temptation
9. Rudestars (Chile) – Jaguars
10. ZSA (Australia) – Southern Tigers
11. Pura Vida Athletics (Costa Rica) – Fuego
12. Perfect Storm Athletics (Canada) – Thunder
13. Unity Allstars (England) – Black
14. Oblivion AllStars (England) – Revolution
15. UPAC All Stars (Chile) – Galaxy Panthers
16. ESPOL (Ecuador) – ESPOL
17. Twister All Star (Chile) – Celebrity Black Divas
18. South Africa National Team
19. Bears Reloaded (Germany) – Bears Reloaded
20. Super Five (Costa Rica)
21. Pegasos All Stars (Guatemala) – Pegasos All Stars
22. Olympus All Stars (Mexico) – Omega
23. Puerto Rico Elite (Puerto Rico)
24 TIE. Puerto Rico X-Street Gym (Puerto Rico) – X5
24 TIE. Cheer Excess (France)
26. Paris Cheer (France) – Team Black
27. Cardenales All Stars (Mexico) – Vaders
28. Cheer Academy All Stars (Mexico) – Commanders
29. I.A.C.C. (Argentina)
30. Cali Sport All Stars (Colombia)
31. Buhos All Stars (Argentina)

 International Open L6:

Finalists –
GymTyme All-Stars – Gold
2. Flyers All Starz (Canada) – Karma
3. Gothenburg Cheer One (Sweden) – Wildcats
4. Cheer Sport Sharks (Canada) – Grey Reef Sharks
5. Pacific Coast Magic – Majesty
6. Viqueens Cheerleaders (Norway) – Viqueens Spirit
7. Dolphins (Germany) – Dolphins Allstars
8. OC All Stars – Neon
9. Alberta Cheer Empire (Canada) – Royalty
10. Dynamite Dragons (Sweden) – Dragons
11. Super Crew Lakers (Norway) – SCL Super Star

International Open Small Coed L6:

Finalists –
1. Top Gun All Stars – IOC-6
2. The California All Stars – Reckless
3. GymTyme All-Stars – Jade
4. Flyers All Starz (Canada) – Thunder
5. Vancouver All Stars (Canada) – Ice Out
6. Mystic All Stars (Canada) – Cherry 6
7. Rising Stars (England) – Electra
8. UBC Tigers (Germany) – UBC Tigers Coed 6

International Open Large Coed L6:

Finalists –
1. GymTyme All-Stars – Chrome
2. Cheer Athletics – Claw6
3. Southern Cross Cheerleading (Australia) – SCC Legacy
4. The California All Stars – Rangers
5. Flyers All Starz (Canada) – Shock
6. Flames All Stars (Canada) – Crush Coed
7. Vaqueros All Star (Mexico) – Vaqueros Rodeo
8. Universidad Miltar Nueva Granada (Colombia) – Wolverines
9. Club Deportivo Elite All Stars (Colombia) – BCA
10. All Time Cheer (Puerto Rico)
11. East China Normal University
12. Puerto Rico X-Street Gym (Puerto Rico) – Rage
13. Cheer Force WolfPack (Canada) – 6 Pack
14. Phantom All Stars (Puerto Rico)
15. Jungle Cats (Costa Rica)

Cheerleading Uniform Lawsuit Could Impact Fashion Industry

Donned in their plain black robes, the men and women of the U.S. Supreme Court spent an hour talking about stripes and zigzags on cheerleading uniforms. The case could have big repercussions for the fashion industry.

Varsity Brands, the country’s largest maker of cheerleading uniforms, wants to keep its patterns of zigzags and stripes copyrighted. But, a smaller company argues Varsity has no right to copyright the designs’ use on clothes.

The issue is tricky because clothes are normally difficult to copyright because their design is directly tied to their function, and federal law doesn’t allow designs to be copyrighted unless they can stand alone.

The smaller company, Star Athletics, in its brief, asks can “the stripes, chevrons, zigzags, and color blocks be recognized apart from a cheerleader uniform’s utilitarian aspects? No.” The company’s attorneys say a “uniform, without the blocks and stripes, looks exactly like the ubiquitous little black dress.”

Although Varsity’s direct competitors tend to side with Star, the lawsuit has support from the fashion industry, which has very limited copyright protections. Currently, the style or cut of a garment is not eligible, but a pattern on it, such as the impression of a Mondrian painting on a renowned Yves Saint Laurent dress, can be protected.

However, Varsity Brands argues its stripes can be separated from the dress, and used on other clothes and objects.

Varsity has filed multiple lawsuits against competitors, claiming copyright violations. Its competitors say that Varsity claims protection for items that are ubiquitous and too generic to merit copyrights.

“Varsity is saying that a very basic, simple sideline uniform with a chevron in the front” is capable of being copyrighted, said Karen Noseff Aldridge, the founder of the cheerleader uniform maker Rebel Athletic. “And that’s ridiculous.”
Her company, known for its customized outfits with a high ratio of crystals, has also received legal threats from Varsity. Ms. Noseff Aldridge said she was “actively ignoring” a cease-and-desist letter Varsity sent to her after a young customer, who was hired to promote Rebel Athletic apparel, posted photos to the company’s Snapchat account that showed herself in a group photo with other girls wearing Varsity uniforms.

The case could have major repercussions for both the $300 million cheerleading apparel market, and the even larger fashion industry. In fact, the Council of Fashion Designers of America filed an amicus brief supporting Varsity’s right to copyright the uniforms.
Source: New York Times

Sephora’s 10 Step No-Makeup Makeup Guide


Your everyday makeup look doesn’t include snapchat filters or post production airbrushing. Looking healthy, “dewey” and natural is the current beauty trend straight from NEW YORK FASHION WEEK this season, and wearing makeup that actually looks like healthy glowing skin is your perfect summer style to crave, whether you’re rocking this beauty look day or night. Continue Reading


How Cheerleading Saved My Life


Before I explain how this crazy sport changed saved my life…

My name is Shane Womack and I’m the founder and creator of Cheer Media and I’ve been a “diehard” cheerleader almost my entire life. Most people don’t believe me when I tell them, but I grew up on a small farm in rural Mississippi. I had a non-eventful childhood. My entire immediate family lived mostly on the same road and I spent most of the time outdoors on my trampoline, riding 4-wheelers, bikes and doing what any other “country” activity I could find. Fishing with my grandfather was always fun. I knew at an early age that I didn’t have much interest in any other sports. It wasn’t until just before Middle School that my focus would change completely.

For as long as I remember, I’ve always been mesmerized by the sport of cheerleading. I guess you could say that I caught the bug somewhere around 5th grade. Little did I know, but it took one summer day at the age of 12 for me to want to know everything I could about cheerleading. I remember it like it was yesterday.

I had two best friends growing up and we were naturally inseparable, and of course, they were both girls. Our parents had all grown up together, went to the same school and they lived fairly close – just a few miles down the road. Our parents all got married and started families at around the same time so we were born close together. . I was born first, on October 2nd. Lindsey was born next on November 4th, and Heather was born on December 8th. We grew up as best friends from diapers through high school.

I always hated not being able to be as active as Lindsey and Heather were, our family didn’t have a ton of money for me to do after school activities, but somehow I convinced my mom to let me join the same gymnastics class in third grade as my two best friends. We commuted once a week about 45 minutes each way and I knew immediately that flipping around like a gymnast was my thing. I wasn’t introduced to actual cheerleading until a birthday/pool/cheerleading party for my best friend. We were going into Middle School at the end of the summer and Lindsey’s parents had arranged for the high school cheerleaders to teach motions, cheers and tumbling at the party. Of course, I was told it was a girl’s thing and that boys weren’t supposed to be interested in this, but I was stubborn and wanted to do everything that my best friends did.

I tried to keep it a secret for a long time, but soon enough, our group of friends started discussing cheer tryouts. Lindsey’s mom was the middle school sponsor and I told her that I really wanted to be on the team and asked what I had to do to tryout. To be honest, I was afraid that I would be ridiculed and bullied (which I was) and we both made the decision that maybe I should tryout for the Tiger school mascot and I would still get to be on the team but not an actual “cheerleader”.

To be honest, I was afraid that I would be ridiculed and bullied (which I was)

Tryouts came and I was selected as the school mascot. The first male mascot in the school history. But, it wasn’t enough. By the end of 6th grade, I had pretty good tumbling skills and really enjoyed being a disguised “cheerleader” behind the tiger costume, but my heart really wanted to be a real cheerleader. Of course, I was bullied and called names, but I was passionate about what I was doing and somehow was able to brush off the comments and keep pushing forward.

Another year passed and I still wasn’t quite able to make the decision to actually try out as a cheerleader so I remained a “mascot” through 8th grade. I loved to throw my skills and would take off the tiger head and flip across our school gym at pep rallies. It was always a rush and I couldn’t get enough.

When tryouts for high school rolled around that spring, I knew that I had sweat enough as a mascot. Looking back, it was one of the scariest moment of my life. I was about to tryout to be the first male cheerleader at my high school. It was sure to be social suicide. My parents were both skeptical and I think they were trying to convince me to not put so much energy into it because they knew the amount of comments I would get for being a ”girly male cheerleader”.

Sure enough, I made the team. I had a rush of feelings from happy to scared to confused, but I somehow knew that I had made the right decision. All of our teammates from Middle School had made the High School team and we knew at tryouts that we had a good group of athletes. We didn’t know how good we were until we got to camp. For the past two years, we had always attended UCA camp at Mississippi College, and of course, I was always the only guy at the camp. It was against camp policy for me to sleep in the dorms with the girls, so I felt super special when I got to hang out with the UCA Staff and usually had my own dorm room. It was here that I made some of the best bonds and friends that to this day have helped me get to where I am.

Later that summer after camp, we voted as a team and set a goal to compete that year. By then, I was working on partner stunts and could barely throw a toss chair, but I was determined to be the best cheerleader in the state. As the only guy cheerleader, I loved to stunt, whether it was group stunts or partner stunts. I would throw all of the girls around as much as I could to work on technique. When choreography camp arrived, our coach had selected a really reputable guy named David Hanbery to teach us our routine, he had just started a cheerleading gym about an hour away and spent his summers teaching skills camps. We knew him and his teammates were good from watching them on ESPN as they cheered for Mississippi College, one of the best teams in the country. He was completely encouraging and I think surprised to see a little country boy as the only male cheerleader on a high school team in rural southern Mississippi. David was super supportive and we have been close friends since that day.

He had taught us the routine of death. We were a talented team and it was early in the summer of 2000. Shortly after, in August, Coach Broadhead took our team to see Bring It On in theatres. It was at that moment of seeing guys cast in the movie that I knew that I was on to something and that I would be cheering in college to throw skills like that.

We had months to prepare for regionals and it’s funny looking back, but we had the hardest time as a team to hit our stunts consistently, but we never gave up. We literally had the toughest routine that, at the time, I don’t think most universities could hit. I think that routine is the reason our team got so close that year. Regionals came in November; we placed second and qualified for State a month later in December.

I think we practiced for four to five hours a day leading up to our State Championship. We were good and we knew we were up against some great teams as well. It was our freshman year and our seniors wanted the title just as bad as we did. Two minutes and thirty seconds went by and we did it. We hit.

Awards were later that and I am pretty sure that I had thrown up twice from nervousness watching other teams perform. We wanted those jackets and rings as the Mississippi 4A Small Varsity State Champions! The awards ceremony seemed to last forever but the announcer finally got to our division. We were all huddled in a small circle holding hands as tight as we could waiting for our school name to be called.

“And your 4A Small Varsity State Champions… Mendenhall High School!,” the announcer exclaimed. I remember looking next to me at my two best friends and yelling, “We did it.” From that moment, I knew that cheerleading had forever changed my life. We had also received a bid to the UCA National High School Cheerleading Championships in Orlando, FL. It would be most of our first time to go to Walt Disney World. I knew that competitive cheerleading was my way out of my small town.

The next summer, I would get my first job as soon as I could drive at a new local fitness club that had a cheer floor and soon began teaching tumbling and cheerleading classes there throughout school. It wasn’t long before our high school and other high school teams in the area started training there as well. We were a super close and talented team throughout high school. The girls I cheered with are some of my best friends to this day.

I spent my entire four years of high school working on my skills. After few years of cheer camps, I met the cheer coach of University of Southern Mississippi and he had convinced me to drive 45 minutes each Sunday to open gym so that I could learn to stunt with the USM cheerleaders. And like clockwork, even before I could drive, there was no way after the first practice with them that I was going to miss any open gyms. Learning to stunt was the most accomplished feeling that I had ever felt.

It took a couple years of begging, but once I could finally drive, I convinced my parents to let me join an All Star gym called Central Mississippi Cheerleading about an hour north of my home town. My mom told me there was no way they would pay for it, but I, again, was stubborn, and for good reason. When I finally arrived at the All Star gym the first day, I knew the owner, David, and they welcomed me with open arms. There were four other guys at the gym that night and they were there stunting and working on things. The girls on the team had convinced them to join and they had the same bug to compete as I did. It was super refreshing to finally be around guys that knew exactly what I was going through. Money was always an issue, as there was no way that my family could afford for me to be a part of this team. I continued to work hard teaching classes (after high school practice) at our local gym, and would drive right after work an hour to All Star practice a few times a week.

It didn’t take me long to realize that All Star Cheerleading was completely different than being a high school cheerleader. We competed in the Small Coed Advanced division (before levels were a thing!) and won all over the region from New Orleans, to Atlanta, to UCA All Star Nationals. I didn’t know how good we were until we made it to Orlando. This team could stunt like no other, and we made finals. I’ll never forget the roar of the crowd in the, as it was known back then, Milk House when we hit our Elite Stunt sequence, an arabesque-tick tock to opposite stretch-tick tock to stretch double down. By the time we got to our ending dance, the arena was going haywire. We had hit again. I’m pretty sure that our team was the first team to hit not one, but two high to high tick tocks in the history of All Star Cheerleading. (Years before the famed Maddie Gardner tick tock.) We took home the infamous black jackets and that’s when I knew it was time to focus on my next goal: College.

After years of no major support in my cheer career from my family, they had pretty much told me that I would not be getting much help to go to college. And, that if that was my goal, then it was going to be something that I did on my own. None of my immediate family had ever graduated from college, most had never even made it through high school or even a GED. I had my heart set on the University of Southern Mississippi and didn’t really pay much attention to other schools. And then everything changed.

The Spring before my senior year, David had offered to take us to a stunt clinic at the University of Kentucky. A school to this day that is a dominating university in collegiate cheerleading. It was at that clinic that I met Brian Elza and Jomo Thompson, who both expressed to me that I was invited to tryout at UK. I was over the moon excited about UK being a potential university and a scholarship that would help me go to college and get out of the life I knew in Mississippi.

My senior year, after our high school qualified for State, I had also been asked by the State Cheer Director to tryout for State All-American as the only guy in the state. I had never been more nervous in my life to get in front of a crowd, but to do an individual routine… I was petrified. Our team got second place after a mishap in our routine that year, but my best friend and I both went home as State All-Americans. One of my favorite moments from High School.

And then the worst thing that could happen, happened. Shortly after our State Championship, I was competing with CMC at a local competition and had a freak accident, rolling and breaking both ankles on a toe touch tumbling sequence. It was months until college tryouts and I was told I would be in a wheelchair for at least four weeks. I had to face it that unfortunately UK was out of the picture and began to look at other schools.

After months of rehab, and not getting to compete like I wanted most of my last semester of high school, I was even more motivated to get my skills back. If I was not at school or work, I was at practice. By April, I could tumble and stunt again, just in time to compete at The Cheerleading Worlds, to which we had received a bid from UCA Nationals just a month before. I wasn’t physically at 100% but I knew I had a lot of work to do.

That month, I had heard that Louisiana State University (LSU) was looking for guys to tryout and I had never even really considered LSU as a school, but I knew that they were an amazing program as the football team had just won the National Championship that year. My friend and teammate Scott, from CMC, was an avid LSU fan and making the trip down to tryout. After some discussion with my coaches, I decided that, why not, I’ll tryout at LSU. And my life changed, again.

Tryouts at LSU were tough, nerve wracking and the best choice I had made since I became a cheerleader in the first place. The campus was beautiful, I met new friends and then fell in love for the second time as an LSU Tiger. I never looked back, It was a tough decision, but I eventually turned down a scholarship offer from USM. I bled Purple and Gold from the moment I stepped foot in Baton Rouge, LA. It was the perfect school for me. I spent four years in Baton Rouge, separated by a small hiatus in school enrollment after Hurricane Katrina.

During my hiatus, my parents were struggling after some severe damage to the farm which kept me from returning to school full time. My all star coach and close friend, David Hanbery, asked me to apply for a small job in Atlanta that was “cheerleading related.” After a few interviews, I was offered the job and moved to Atlanta working as a Marketing Assistant for Inside Cheerleading magazine. Little did I know, that this job would ultimately help me realize my next love: marketing.

After a very quick year and a ton of money saving, I returned to Baton Rouge to finish my degree at LSU. There was no other place that I wanted to cheer or be at to finish my college career, and I was able to work remotely part-time for Inside Cheerleading through college. I had to wait until the spring to tryout for the team at LSU, as I had missed the spring tryouts for this season.

Cheering in college (and getting a scholarship) at LSU is definitely my proudest moment as all of my hard work in the skills and time I put into cheer had paid off. All of the effort was worth it. I graduated from LSU in 2009 with a degree in Business Marketing. Shortly after graduation, I returned to Atlanta, GA.

I had always known that someday I wanted my own business and in late 2014, that dream came a reality. I founded Cheer Media in December 2014, and began the work on creating a new brand, Cheer! Magazine which launched in March 2015.

Cheerleading has taught me some incredible lessons in life. It taught me how to work, it gave me friendships and it made me who I am. I don’t know where I would be without that decision I made at 12 years old.

I will forever be able to say that cheerleading saved my life.

2016 Cheerleading Worlds Results

The Cheerleading Worlds was held April 23-25, 2016 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports. Twelve divisions make up the elite championship for all star cheerleading for Level 5 and Level 6 athletes from around the globe. Continue Reading

Congratulations to the New USASF National Advisory Board Members!

The National Advisory Board is democratically elected to support athletes and members by addressing emerging issues of broad potential impact and developing policies for the organization when needed.

Who is eligible to serve: All USASF Professional Members.
Membership: Members are nominated by their peers and voted in by the USASF membership.
Term: Two years.
Commitment: Members must comply with the NAB Code of Conduct and attend both semi annual meetings.

Cheer Coach Elected Representatives

Terms expire in December 2017
Joe Dunn – Dunn’s Findlay Cheer Elite & Gymnastics
Flo Iman – FCA Gems
Jessica Moltisanti – Zone Cheer All-Stars Inc
James Whitaker – Twist & Shout All-Stars
Derick Patterson –

Terms expire in December 2016
Lance Stoltenberg – Elite Cheer
Cora King – HotCheer All Stars
Brandon Roberts – ACE Cheer Company
Craig Tatum – United Cheer
Lisa Golden – Vegas Cheer Authority

Competition Event Producer Elected Representatives

Terms Expire in December 2017
Tres LeTard – Varsity All Star
Brandi Matthews – The JAM Brands
Darrell Bagby – The American Championships
Teresa Barbiere – Greater Midwest Cheer Expo
David Hanbery – Deep South Cheer and Dance, Inc.

Terms Expire in December 2016
Amber Koster – Champion Spirit Group
Chad Lemon – The JAM Brands
Scott Bouchard -Advanced SPIRIT Association
George Carillo – World Spirit Federation
Meagan Fiscella – CHEERSPORT

Affiliate Member Elected Representative

Terms expire in December 2017
Angela Robbins Hull – Rebel Athletic, Inc.
Carmine Silano – CheerSounds Music and Training, LLC

Terms expire in December 2016
Andrew Dean – Xtreme Shots Photography
Shelly O’Brien – Inside Publications
Shane Womack – Cheer Media

Many of the significant initiatives and programs that define the USASF originated or were developed through the work of the NAB, including:

  • Athlete ID
  • Career and Professional Membership
  • USASF Professional Responsibility Code
  • Disciplinary Process
  • All Star Prep
  • Image and Appearance Guidelines
  • USASF Chairman’s Cup
  • USASF Mentoring Leaders

The Legend of Cheerleading

A legend of the cheerleading world has passed away. Lawrence “Herkie” Herkimer is known today as the father of modern day cheerleading. He was born in 1925 and is credited for creating the Herkie cheerleading jump, which was named after him, and also received a patent for the pom-pon which he created alongside the spirit stick. Herkimer passed away on July 1, 2015.

Herkimer was a cheerleader at Southern Methodist University (SMU) and started his first cheerleading camp in 1948. Herkie is the founder of the National Cheerleaders Association (NCA) which began with just 53 participants. The following year, enrollment in his camps had soared to over 350 participants. By the 1950s most high schools had created a cheerleading squad. Before long, he gave up his teaching career with Southern Methodist and took up cheerleading full time. His camps employed about 1,500 instructors teaching cheerleading across the U.S. along with his company – Cheerleader Supply Company that was started to supply cheerleading teams with uniforms and camp clothing.

The father of modern day cheerleading, Lawrence Herkimer, passed away on July 1, 2015.
By the 1960s, just about every high school and college in the country had cheerleaders. Professional cheerleading was introduced around this time under the National Football League and its leader was the Dallas Cowboys debuting during the 1972-73 season. They were first widely viewed at the 1976 Super Bowl X game, changing the face of cheerleading as a profession.

In 1986, Herkimer sold his cheerleading company for $20 million to the BSN Corporation. In June 1988, BSN Corporation sold NCA to the Prospect Group with Herkimer staying on to run the company which was bringing in approximately $50 million in revenue by 1990.

With the invention of color television and a need for a visually appealing device for cheerleading, Herkimer invented the pom-pon and was granted patent 3,560,313 from the US Patent and Trademark Office in 1971. Herkimer is also credited as the inventor of the spirit stick after awarding a spirited team at one of his camps a piece of a tree branch that would later become mass produced as the infamous Spirit Stick that teams and camps across the world know and are still awarded today.

NCA was later acquired by Varsity Spirit Corporation and became a part of the Varsity Family which was started by Jeff Webb, the founder of UCA, who was at the time a general manager for NCA.

The sport we know as cheerleading today was largely influenced by the efforts of Lawrence Herkimer. Without his ingenuity and influence in the industry, we wouldn’t have the sport that we know of cheerleading today. Herkie was a true legend and pioneer of the sport of cheerleading.