FAQ

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We know we’re new to the Duluth area, and there’s a lot about this sport that can be confusing for new families! Here’s some frequently asked questions:

What is all-star cheerleading anyways?

All Star cheerleading is a competition sport that involves boys and girls performing a 2 minute and 30 second routine composed of tumbling, stunting, pyramids, jumps and dance. This routine is performed and scored against other competitive teams at various local, regional, national, and worldwide competitions.When we refer to tumbling, we mean gymnastic type skills like cartwheels and back
handsprings. Stunting refers to a group of two or more individuals that elevate another cheerleader in the air. This also includes co-ed stunting that may only include one base and one flyer. Pyramids are a form of stunting but are done as a large group and are interconnected. Jumps are typically performed connected and synchronized by the whole team, common jumps include the toe-touch, left/right hurdler and pike. Lastly, dance is a portion of a routine that consists of choreographed high energy dance moves.
The main difference between High School cheer and All Star cheer is that a High School cheerleading team’s primary purpose is to support a local school’s sports team and keep the crowd excited. An All Star team performs purely for the challenge, thrill, and competition of the sport. Other differences include All Star cheerleading seasons can be as much as a year long, All Star cheerleaders are not required to be from the same school or area, and in many cases the skill set required for All Stars is much more difficult.

Most All Star Cheerleading teams are affiliated with a local gym. These gyms may also house gymnastics, dance, or other related sports. In addition they may have one location or multiple locations across several states. Likewise the number of cheerleaders each gym totals can be as little as 25 to over 800. A particular gym’s style, values, and individual requirements can vary widely.The United States All Star Federation (USASF) is a governing body that is working to standardize and assist gyms across the nation. While it is not required for all gyms to belong to the USASF, most high quality gyms choose to belong and adhere to the USASF regulations. (USASF)

What does it really take to be an all-star?
The biggest thing we’re looking for is dedication! We ask that all members are committed to their practice schedule, prioritize cheer above other activiites and social gatherings and are prepared to be a team player throughout the season.
Our competitive teams practice at least once a week; with placements in late May, an intesnse summer session and competition season running from fall to early spring. It is a large commitment and we hope you understand that when considering joining a team, especially if you have another sport you’d like to try and do. The schedule, time commitment, travel destinations and cost estimates will be provided before placements for anyone looking to join a team. We’d be happy to discuss any concerns with you at that time.
Everyone will make a team and your placement will be based on a number of factors including but not limited to: age, current skill set, stunting position, and current team make up. The owner reserves the right to change teams as she sees fit until Labor Day each season (ie. if you make a higher level team, but do not continue to throw/improve the skills necessary for the team you may be moved down to a more appropriate level)
Cheerleading is a team sport and as such, every decision is made with the best interest of the team at heart. There may be times when you question a coaches decision, and we are willing to speak with you about these concerns at an inappropriate time. However, before approaching staff or setting up a meeting to discuss your concerns please first reflect on if the decision made will be best for the overall team, even if your child does not receive the position they (or you) had hoped for. There will be ups and downs in a cheerleaders career but we do our best to always put the team first and the individual second. (USASF)

 

What are the divisions/levels?
The USASF developed divisions and levels to assure that like-aged athletes compete against like skill sets.

The divisions are based on the athlete’s age on 8/31/17.
Pre-Tiny – 3-6 years old
Tiny – 5-6 years old
Mini – 5-8 years old
Youth – 5-11 years old
Junior – 5-14 years old
Senior – 10-18 years old

Levels are made to assure that teams are judged and compete against teams of the same level. The range goes from 1-6, and is based entirely on skill, not on age or any other factor. Levels will be explained more as your progress into the program and before placements. The level of a team can be changed mid-season at the discretion of the coach/owner. However, to be competitive in any level the team should have a minimum of 50% +1 able to throw the skills required. The preliminary level of the team will be determined by owner after placements, but may switch later in the season.

 

What does being on an all-star team cost?

Costs for all-star cheerleading can be quite high, but with proper planning and fundraising it can be managed. There are two costs to consider when joining a team; the cost to the gym, and the competition costs. Costs to the gym include tuition, competition fees, uniforms, music, make up, bows, practice gear, shoes, music, choreography and coaches fees. Secondly the costs of the competition include travel, lodging, spending money for food and extra money for souvenirs. We work hard to keep our prices well the national average ($1,500-$10,000) and offer multiple fundraisers to offset costs. If cheerleading is important to you, but money is a concern please speak with us about ways to off-set the costs. A full season estimate will be provided before placements.

I want to try it, but the team seams like a big commitment

We totally get it! Our goal is that every athlete on a team takes that commitment seriously from day one, with the intention of staying on the team for the full 10 month season. This can be daunting. We offer other opportunities such as classes, camps, clinics, private lessons, open gyms, parents time out, and rec teams (depending on interest). Take a look at our website to see if one of these offering are a good fit for your family, or drop us a note to discuss how we can work with you!

I want to know more

If you have more answers we invite you to check out the Cheer_Parents_101 PDF from the USASF. Many of the answers above come from this workbook put out by our governing body.
If you have any other specific questions please post below! We’d love to hear from you!

Where can I buy apparel?

Our in-gym pro-shop offers a variety of products and apparel. Shoes are the one exception that we do not sell directly, but we recommend using Varsity for your athletes. You can shop directly for their shoes and other products here