Four years ago, Dylan watched his older sister, Jaylen compete her first season with Ideal Cheer Elite. They both had done dance previously, but as Dylan watched her learn tumbling skills, and increase her stunting ability, he felt it might be a good fit for him too! In season two, Dylan came to tryouts and he’s been a dedicated team member ever since.
While boys on cheer teams is somewhat rare, especially in the Northland, that didn’t stop Dylan! Throughout the nation our sport is seeing a large increase in male participants. And the great thing about boys in cheer, is they are naturally built to advance and excel in this sport. Dylan is a great example of each of this. Within his first season, he started to build muscle, understand weight transfer, and maintain key body positions throughout multiple skills. In his next season, he mastered his handsprings, basic airborne skills and started working on his tucks. At the end of this season, Dylan’s third year in cheer, he was working on layouts and various twisting skills. We’ve seen his strength and flexibility develop extensively beyond what he had prior to the program, and his leadership and team building abilities increase equally. Dylan works with our younger teams through camps and clinics, and has hopes to be a junior coach in our program this season. This is even more impressive when you realize that upon walking in our doors, he didn’t even have a cartwheel.
When we asked Dylan what he loves about cheer he said:
“I love the fact that it’s a team sport and you’re all there for each other.”
“I have confidence not only in me but in my team.”
Dylan’s family is very involved in the program. His dad took the role as “team parent” last season. Which meant he helped organize bonding events, maintained attendance details, and served as a primary contact for the other parents.
His sister took a year off from the program, but is excited to be joining us again for season five!
When we asked his mom how they see cheer, and if she had any advice, here is what she said:
Cheer has become part of our family. Our traveling weekends and vacations are almost all cheer based. Cheer has given our family the opportunity to travel to places we have never been. It has given both of our kids (our daughter was also on the team for three years) confidence, genuine friendships, the ability to work as a team, and accept corrective criticism. Cheer has also helped Dylan to become very healthy and strong. All this would not be possible with the incredible, talented, committed team of coaches! As far as advice for new families, be ready for the ride. It’s not a hobby. You child will love it, and it will change their life and yours!
We also asked how cheer was different than other sports or activities her kids had been involved in
Before cheer, both of my kids had done dance and a little tumbling. They liked both but didn’t love or have the compassion needed for either. This type of cheer combines what they did love about dance and tumbling and then adds so much more!