The perfect basketball dance can be so elusive. As basketball teams begin their practices on the court, many basketball cheerleading programs are beginning their practices on the mats! So how can you and your squad develop the perfect dance for the sideline performance at the basketball game? There are several key elements which you can look for to help create the perfect dance.


Finding a Hot Cheer Track

One of them is to have amazing music. Having the track that was hot last year as your dance for this year is never a good look. You want to have the music which is the most recent epic dance track that you can imagine. And while it’s easy to look at top 40 hits to see what is going to be the song for your squad, it is often better to look to chilling dance professionals like your friends at to find that scorching track. The music producers at, like Cheer Music Pro (aka Patrick Avard), are the same ones who create the amazing music that you hear at the cheerleading world championships every single year! Those same unique tracks are available with‘s effortless user interface, for a fraction of the cost of what you see for those worlds mixes.


Formations and Levels

When you are looking at choreography, one of the most important moments is the use of the floor. All too often dance teams get trapped in one formation, and stay in that formation focusing on the individual movements rather than looking at their formations from a broader perspective. As you and your squad start to put together your sweet dance moves, think about how you can make full use of the basketball court. Multi-level formations moving in different directions help draw the eye in a way which a static formation often does not. Incorporating something as easy as a level change can often significantly change the way the audience perceives the dance performance.


Doing it Together

Synchronization is difficult. It takes hundreds of hours of practice for dance teams to get a dance routine that looks like everyone is moving as a single individual, reflected in mirrors. Luckily, there are many tricks which you can use to make it so that synchronization is not necessary. One of them is to use ripples, or contagions. Using a peel-off ripple or contagion can help let each person on your squad put their own unique spin on the dance moves, but because you are peeling off the formation everyone will do it in a way which seems more synchronized. It’s an illusion of the eye: seeing people move like that in different directions at the same time makes it hard to tell if someone’s individual movement is off. Think about trying to use a contagion next time you and your squad are putting together your dance routine.

There are real challenges to entertaining the crowd during timeouts and halftime at a basketball game. Maybe not appreciate the hours of work that it takes to put together a cohesive dance which can tell a story and keep everyone on the edge of their seats. However, if you and your squad can take into account things like having that epic cheer track and having complex multi-level choreography, then you can entertain your crowd as well as the best slam dunking player on your team!

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Gymnastics is one of the most important elements in cheerleading, and it is one of the few that you can work on entirely on your own. While dance, cheer, and stunting require working with other members of your squad, tumbling is something which has to be learned and mastered individually. Tumbling lessons can be expensive, too, with private lessons costing $75 an hour or more! Becoming a better tumbler is not something that happens overnight – it takes years of practice to hone and perfect those skills. However, there are a few things that you can do on your own that will help you attain your tumbling goals faster. Whether you are working on a standing full or just trying to master a forward roll, these five fundamental exercises will make it easier for you to accomplish what you want.

There are literally thousands of exercises you can do to improve your gymnastics, but most of them require either an experienced coach watching over you while you practice or expensive equipment. These exercises have been chosen because they require little more than a six foot by six foot workout area, a workout partner, and a wall. No new gymnastics skills should be done without the supervision of a qualified professional, and you should trust your judgement when you start any new exercise regimen – if it seems unsafe please do not do it. This is no exception: if you have medical issues or concerns about your safety please do not try any of these skills until you have consulted with medical personnel.

These exercises are more advanced than the ones in our previous post and are intended to be a progression. Make certain you have perfected those exercises before you move on to these!

Free Handstand

Almost all backwards entrance tumbling is built around the handstand. In parts one and part two we discussed different ways that you could build up to a point to doing a free handstand. This is a culmination of those activities. It’s important to remember that holding handstands is so critical in something like a back handspring or even a roundup for a cartwheel. Well you might often only think about the end skills and tumbling past, like a layout or a full, if you have a bad back handspring or a bad round off you’re never getting to a point where you can execute those skills as cleanly as possible. Thus even experienced gymnasts spend a lot of time working on their handstands.

Once you reach a point where you can hold that free handstand you should be working on how long you can hold it and also working on blocking or shrugging drills while you’re holding your handstand. For the varsity variation, a harder version once you’ve fully mastered the skill, you can work on doing a shoulder touch, or you would hold your handstand with one hand while you touch the shoulder with the other and then quickly swap to the other side. You can see these walking type handstand drills all over the place. Still, you must walk before you run. So here is a short video explaining how to get into your free standing handstand.

Hollow Rolls

In part one we talked about the hollow hold, and in part two we talked about mastering the via. The next skill is going to be the hollow roll, which in some ways is a combination of a hollow hold or a be up with a back limber. You will start by balancing yourself in your hollow hole position, please go back and see part 1 if we learn more about hollow holes, and then you will slowly rotate to your right as you’re rotating try to keep your shoulder blades and your feet off the ground, eventually you’ll be in a belly down position keeping your chest off the ground and your feet off the ground creating a slight bow in your back.

Once you’ve gotten there you will continue to roll to the right until you’re backing your hollow hole position. Once you’ve completed that, try rolling back to the left. Working on this will help to contract your entire core, not only the abs which everyone is aware of in the front of your body, but even those key lower back muscles, your upper glutes, and the muscles along either side of your abdominal wall. Holding all of these together is how you’re going to strengthen your core and give yourself the strength you need to produce those high intensity backwards and forwards flipping skills. Here is a short video about how to execute a hollow roll.

Gather Step to Box Jump

The majority of cheerleading tumbling is backwards tumbling. Certainly there are some exceptions, like an arabian or a punch front step out, but most of the time we are talking about back handsprings, back tucks and fulls. As a result learning how to correctly do a gather step into a jump is important. To help you work on this we’re doing a gather step variation on a box jump. The idea is relatively straightforward: practicing stepping backwards to build momentum will help you especially when you’re doing a multiple back handspring to standing skill. Developing the coordination and power to do this in a consistent way will quickly improve your speed and your momentum in throwing these skills. Here is a video explaining how to execute a gather-step box jump.

Side-Leg Splits

Flexibility is a critical part of tumbling not just because of its importance in getting into skills like round-offs and cartwheels. But also because it helps to decrease the likelihood of injury. No gymnastics training is complete without a focus on flexibility. In part two we focused on forward split flexibility, here in part three we’re going to focus on sideways flexibility. By stretching your groin muscle and your hamstrings you will make certain that you can land more consistently, that your power from your round off and cartwheel increase, and that if something should go wrong you can avoid getting hurt. Consistent stretching is always important. This is how you work on your side split.

Bridge Kick-Over

Central to a lot of chilling tumbling is the back handspring. The back handspring requires you to be able to bridge your back and then flip over. In order to do this, you have to have three key elements: back flexibility, the power to kick over, and the abdominal strength to pull your feet back down to the ground and underneath you so that you can stand up. The bridge kick over works on all of these skills. In part one (include link) we worked on the wall walk to get into a bridge. In part two (include link) we worked on how to do a bridge from a standing position. In part three we focus on how you can kick over once you’ve gotten to that bridge. Please make sure that you are completing all of the previous skills and mastering them before you move on to a new set of gymnastics skills. Here is how you do a back bridge kick over:

Important Things to Consider

Always remember, when beginning a new workout regimen, that you are taking the appropriate precautions to make sure you are doing it safely. You should be doing all of these activities with a partner, both for help in case a movie comes too difficult, but also to be there if something does go wrong. Working on these exercises consistently before you begin working on gymnastics will make a significant difference in how quickly you move through the progressions at a cheerleading or gymnastics gym. However, working on it everyday is critical. While certainly rest is an important part of it, and the occasional rest day is okay, only consistent work on the skills will help you get to your goals and the amount of time that you want.

Sometimes you need a little motivation while you are working through these skills. They can be difficult, and sometimes the idea of going through another workout can be daunting. One of the things that you can do to help keep yourself inspired is to listen to some of the hottest cheerleading tracks in the country. Listen to the music on to help you stay inspired and help you keep your eyes on the prize.



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Competitive cheerleading has been around for almost 50 years now, and the transformation it has gone through has been truly incredible. When we think of cheerleading now we think of fast-paced, skill packed routines with some of the most amazing dances you’ve ever seen, all pumping to fresh, independent, and unique music. However, cheerleading was not always like this. The cheerleading routine evolved from the American aerobics and early gymnastics movements in the 1970s and early ’80s, into the complex competitive environment it is now.


The Birth of Competitive Cheerleading

The first collegiate cheerleading championships began in the latter part of the ’70s. The routines were long,  performed on a concrete floor or a basketball court, and the tumbling was minimal. Most of the gymnastics skills were limited to handsprings and walk-overs, and if people were throwing skills like a back tuck, it was considered exceptional.  Teams frequently even brought mini trampolines onto the floor to use in assisted tumbling and to tumble over pyramids. Even the stunting was different from what we think of in cheerleading today. Most skills were more closely related to dance lifts than true stunts. The toss chair was around, of course, but sailor tees and bridge lifts were also a big part of the routines. Here’s a routine from the 1978 Collegiate Cheerleading Championships.


1978 National Collegiate Cheerleading Championships 


Cheerleading Finds its Legs

As the 1980s rolled around, cheerleading began to steal more and more from the burgeoning aerobics and acro0-gymnastics movement. Jazzercise elements became a significant part of the cheerleading routine and tumbling got significantly better; back handsprings and back tucks started to be executed on the floor and people were even throwing fulls, double fulls, and even double backs as they were tumbling on mats. The addition of mats not only made the tumbling better, it also allowed for more difficult stunts. Toss skills to extended positions like extensions and liberties became the norm, and pyramids began to become more and more complex. However, rules governing cheerleading had still not been truly formalized, so many of the skills they were performing look very dangerous to us today. Take a look at this performance from the 1984 NCA National Collegiate Cheerleading Championship.


1984 NCA Collegiate Championship 


Cheerleading becomes a National Phenomenon

By the 1990s cheerleading had truly come into its own. The rules have become more standardized, and double flipping skills were made illegal in both basket tosses and tumbling. Similarly, three high pyramids were no longer allowed; all pyramids were limited to a height of two and a half high. Additionally, cheerleading began to expand beyond just a collegiate level for competition. High school cheerleading competitions and all-star competitions began being hosted all over the country. Cheerleading was truly becoming a sport entirely on its own. The first competitive cheerleading dynasties began during this time. When we think of the 1990s we often think of the dominance of the University of Kentucky and Morehead programs in UCA, however there were many other programs producing fantastic cheerleading routines. For example, watch this routine from Alabama:


1995 UCA National Championship


The Modern Cheerleading Routine

After the rulings of the 1990s became a little bit more strict, and catastrophic injuries were less frequent, cheerleading enjoyed a remarkable period of growth. All-Star programs popped up all over the country, and all-star competitive programs became as big or bigger than the collegiate programs. Significant changes were made to the collegiate rules that were implemented in 2005. These rules got rid of the double full as a tumbling skill, limited basket tosses to only two skills, and no longer allowed free flipping skills that did not start from the ground for stunting. These changes became the final big set of rule changes for collegiate cheerleading, and those changes trickled down into all-star as well. In fact since 2005, if athletes wanted to perform double fulls, they had to do it on the all-star level not on the collegiate level. Part of that is because all-star competes on a spring loaded floor, while collegiate cheerleading still happens on a hard mat. Still, look at the difference in timing and intensity of the skills when we look at Navarro’s most recent performance at the NCA Collegiate National Championship:


NCA Nationals Daytona 2022 


How Cheerleading Music has Evolved

The music in cheerleading routines has changed a lot over the course of the years. Notice how in the 1970s routine, the music was a long piece of instrumental music with minimal or no vocals or sound effects, and was only used in a small part of the routine. The rest of the time the cheerleaders cheered while they were doing skills. On the other hand, as it moved into the ’80s, you will see that they began to use edited popular music. These remixes of popular songs were typically only one artist and one track which were then lengthened or shortened for the routine. Sometimes sound effects and voice overs were added, but this was only for the best funded teams that could afford to have a professional music producer do the work. By the 1990s, the JockJams phenomenon had taken over the world. Music made specifically for athletics was the standard, and the advent of combining multiple songs to make “megamixes” became the norm. By the 2000s the transformation of digital music editing resources meant that now almost every cheerleading program had “megamixes” of popular songs, with voiceovers and sound effects. However, this was a violation of US Copyright Law and by the end of the 2000s the use of music which was the intellectual property of the musicians, and artist who originally wrote it, became illegal for cheerleading competitions.


The new rules governing the use of music in competitive cheerleading made it difficult to use popular music. Now most music is a collection of original compositions which were tailored to the needs of the cheerleading industry. Modern cheerleading music is made by music producers like the professionals at who make music specifically for competitive cheerleading. In fact, Navarro’s routine was produced by the exact same producers who make the music at! If you are looking for some of the hottest tracks in the country at a fraction of the price of custom music, has the epic cheer mix that will put your routine over the top!

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Gymnastics is one of the most important elements in cheerleading, and it is one of the few that you can work on individually. While dance, cheer, and stunting require working with other members of your squad, tumbling is something which must be learned and mastered individually. Tumbling lessons can be expensive, too, with private lessons costing $75 an hour or more! Becoming a better tumbler is not something that happens overnight – it takes years of practice to hone and perfect those skills. However, there are a few things that you can do on your own that will help you attain your tumbling goals faster. Whether you are working on a standing full or just trying to master a forward roll, these five fundamental exercises will make it easier for you to accomplish what you want.

These exercises have been chosen because they require little more than a 6’ by 6’ workout area, a workout partner, and a wall. No new gymnastics skills should be done without the supervision of a qualified professional, and you should trust your judgement when you start any new exercise regimen – if it seems unsafe please do not do it. This is no exception: if you have medical issues or concerns about your safety please do not try any of these skills until you have consulted with a medical professional.

These exercises are more advanced than the ones we shared in 5 Exercises to Improve Your Tumbling: Part 1 and are intended to be a progression. Make certain you have perfected those exercises before you move on to these!


Wall-Assisted Handstand

The ability to support your weight on your hands is a critical ability in many different gymnastic skills including roundoffs and cartwheels, but moving through the back handspring and even further. As a result, learning how to support your weight well by blocking through your shoulders and extending your arms is going to be important if you want to learn how to tumble more quickly. If you want to get these skills quickly and safely you should work on the wall assisted handstand. The wall assisted handstand is exactly what it sounds like: you will kick up to a wall and use it to support and balance yourself while you work on blocking and controlling your body while upside down. When you are doing the wall assisted handstand, try to do shrug drills or block drills while you are upside down. Working on shrugging through your shoulders and keeping a hollow body position will help you move more quickly to being able to eventually do a freestanding handstand. You should be able to hold your handstand for up to a minute. This video gives you some basics on how to do a wall assisted handstand.



 Perhaps no skill is more associated with gymnastics than the V-up. The V-up is a core and hip flexor exercise designed to increase your ability to pull your toes up and over your body. First, balance yourself on the very top part of your glutes and extend your arms up above your head. At the same time keep your heels off the ground. This position should be very similar to the hollow hold that we showed in the first set of exercises to improve tumbling. Once you have hit your hollow hold position, in a controlled fashion reach up and try to get your toes and your hands to meet in the middle, then slowly lower down without your mid back or feet touching the ground. At first this will be a difficult exercise, but by practicing a lot you will find that you get the balance and control you need to be able to do multiple reps in a row. Eventually you should be able to work up to doing five sets of 20 repetitions. This video gives you details on the proper form of a V-up.




Box Jumps

Developing explosive power from your legs is a crossover skill which applies to many different gymnastic skills. Even something as basic as a roundoff requires you to be able to push aggressively through and create explosive power in your legs. The box jump is an excellent plyometric exercise which helps to develop that power. The box jump is relatively straightforward: simply jump up to a certain height and then jump backwards back down. Focus on maintaining control and keeping your feet together the entire time. If you do not have a box, you can simply use a step at your house. Once you feel like you have control over doing it on one step, try to move up to doing two steps. If you get to a point where you can do two, try three. For a more advanced version, consider going to a local stadium and doing them on the stadium steps. These larger steps provide an excellent and stable platform for you to practice working your explosive power. Here is an example of how to do a box jump.




Leg-Forward Split

 Flexibility is closely tied to success in gymnastics. The entry mounts for even the most basic front and backwards tumbling (the roundoff and the front handspring) both require a significant amount of flexibility, particularly in the hamstrings. Being able to stretch those hamstrings becomes especially important. Here is a video showing you how to do a series of stretches to work on your forward leg split. Do not attempt to go straight into a split immediately if you don’t have not done it in the past. Instead use active stretching to run through these drills and work on extending your functional flexibility.



Standing Back Bridge

In the earlier post we talked about doing wall walks. This is an assisted method of getting into a back bridge. You should be certain that you have mastered doing a backwards wall walk to a bridge position before you attempt an unassisted standing back bridge. The standing back bridge is a crossover skill that prepares you for the back handspring. Most gymnastics gyms will require the skill before they let you work on a back handspring. So it is important, if you want to move quickly through your skills progressions, that you work on this before you begin taking your gymnastics classes. Here is a video showing you how to do a standing back bridge.



Remember that gymnastics can be dangerous. You should always take part in these activities with a friend or a partner present who can be there both to spot and to encourage you along the way. Make sure that you are using an appropriate progression: only by working through these skills to perfection before you move on to the next skill can you guarantee that you’ll be able to do more advanced skills safely.

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Gymnastics is one of the most important elements in cheerleading, and it is one of the few things that you can work on entirely on your own. While dance, cheer, and stunting require working with other members of your squad, tumbling is something which must be learned and mastered individually. Tumbling lessons can be expensive, too, with private lessons costing upwards of $75 an hour or more! Becoming a better tumbler is not something that happens overnight. It takes years of practice to hone and perfect those skills. However, there are a few things that you can do on your own that will help you attain your tumbling goals faster. Whether you are working on a standing full or just trying to master a forward roll, these five fundamental exercises will make it easier for you to accomplish what you want.


There are literally thousands of exercises you can do to improve your gymnastics, but most of them require either an experienced coach watching over you while you practice or expensive equipment. These exercises have been chosen because they require little more than a six by six foot workout area, a workout partner, and a wall. No new gymnastics skills should be done without the supervision of a qualified professional, and you should trust your judgement when you start any new exercise regimen. If it seems unsafe, do not do it! If you have medical issues or concerns about your safety, do not try any of these skills until you have consulted with a medical professional.


The Shoulder Stretch

Begin by facing a wall. Place the palms of both hands against the wall and straighten your arms above your head, leaning forward as needed to make contact. Then, slowly, walk backward, lowering your arms to the point where you can feel the shoulder stretching. Be certain to keep your arms by your ears the entire time. This stretch is a basic precursor to the wall walk later. You should be able to bend over to 90 degrees at the waist with your arms extended over your head before moving to the wall walk.


The Hollow Hold

This fundamental gymnastics exercise works the lower abs and the hip flexors (the muscles running from your abs to the top of your legs). Lay on your back with your ankles pressed together and your arms by your ears. Then lift your feet and your shoulder blades off the floor, being sure to press the ankle and arms inwards the whole time. Once you are comfortable with this position, attempt to move your mid back off the floor as well, balancing on your lower back and the top of your glutes. Practice holding this position for up to 60 seconds at a time.


The Tuck Jump

Begin standing with your arms by your side and your feet together. Dip slightly as you take a small back swing with your arms, then attempt to jump as high as you can. At the top of the jump bring your knees as high as you can get them, then extend your legs as you land. When you are executing a tuck jump, focus on the fundamentals: do not dip lower than a few inches to gain momentum, and be certain that your ankles stay completely together throughout the skill.


The Forward Fold

Although most of the tumbling in cheerleading is backwards tumbling, it is important to do forward stretches as well. Begin by standing while holding your arms by your ears, then slowly lower down as far as you can. The increased weight of your arms will make it easy for them to move away from your ears, so it is important to focus on keeping that hollow position throughout this stretch. If you cannot get past 90 degrees don’t worry – just keep working on this stretch every day, holding it for 15 seconds, taking a short break, then stretching again. If you keep doing it you will see results within the first few weeks.


The Wall Walk

This is the most advanced of these exercises, and if you are still struggling with the forward fold and the wall-assisted shoulder stretch you should not move on to this skill. However, if you are new to gymnastics, mastering the wall walk will help you move more quickly through fundamental skills. Begin with your back to a wall, then take a step forward and put your arms up by your ears. Slowly reach backwards until you can put your palms on the wall. Next, very slowly, begin to walk our hands down the wall. Do not go too fast on this skill, and stop at the point where your back and shoulder flexibility make it uncomfortable to keep going. Hold the stretch at that position for about 15 seconds, then walk your hands back up the wall. Keep working on this skill 15-20 times daily until you can walk your hands all the way to the floor. Doing this will prepare you for front and back limbers as well as your back handspring.


One thing you must remember! Gymnastics can be a dangerous sport, and there is a lot of conditioning and training involved to make sure that you stay safe as you begin your gymnastics progressions. However, all gymnastics comes down to fundamentals like core strength, explosive jumping, and back flexion. Working on these exercises every day can help you to shorten the timetable on gaining new skills, especially if you are thinking about starting a tumbling regimen. It is important that you have someone else around while doing these skills, just so you have help if you need it. Besides, working out is more fun if you have a friend!







Read More had the opportunity to be a part of the initial year of the Miss Cheerleader USA Pageant.  As the official music provider of the pageant, we were proud to be part of Frank Byers’s vision to empower athletes all over the country. Read more below to learn more Abou this great event for cheer athletes.


Interview with Frank Byers, Organizer of the Miss Cheerleader USA Pageant

 A native of Arkansas, Frank was a televised contestant on Season 6 of American Idol. Frank has participated in many other nationally recognized platforms across the U.S. Frank discovered the joy he found in producing moments that lead to life-giving memories and coaching others on their various journeys on and off the stage which lead to him starting his Production firm Thumbprint Productions. Frank has produced for various National as well as state-level pageants competitions, the most recent being the Miss Cheerleader USA Pageant. was the exclusive music provider for this pageant!


How did you become interested in pageants?

 Years ago, in college, I was actually coaching cheerleading. I was cheering on a team and the coach’s daughter wanted to entertain and perform –  singing was the way to do it. We were living in a small town in Arkansas. At that time for young ladies competing, pageants were the only type of platform to perform a new talent and singing. I went as a supporter for her one day and was asked randomly to sing the national anthem at that pageant. The rest is history.


What other pageants have you been involved with?

 I’ve been blessed throughout the years to work with a lot of different organizations. I have the honor last December of producing the 100th anniversary of Miss America – it’s streaming live on Peacock – that really was the dream. Previous to that project, I had the opportunity last summer to produce Miss America’s Outstanding Teen. That was the actual pageant system where that young lady and I participated years ago. Then I started producing.


What inspired you to begin the Miss Cheerleader USA Pageant?

I noticed during my experiences with consultation and production that some pageants seemed to uplift the participants in a way others did not. I actually considered these to be more healthy. I wanted to help create healthy pageant systems that can be a powerful force to help develop the individuals who are taking part in them. There’s this unique stigma with pageants, one which I observed in my own experiences, and one I wanted to address and improve upon. Some participants never win a title. For me, it’s to see how participants grow year to year and to see how it radically changed the lives of the individuals who have participated.



What was your favorite thing about the Miss Cheerleader USA pageant?

The fact that this was our first year made the whole experience very exciting. I knew it’d be something different, but the cool thing that blew my mind was that first rehearsal. The athleticism was amazing, because I never could have envisioned and seen it all until we were sitting in rehearsal. I started putting the opening number together, and I was like, “This is really going to work!” From the youngest to the oldest – every one of the contestants were so talented.

The challenge is to navigate the pageant to that healthy place, so the girls are feeling comfortable on stage. Many would say “I’m not a dancer, I can’t do this.”My job became to encourage them that no matter how large or how small this is, they could succeed. I was challenged: they were like “Oh, you throw these skills, we can do this!” We put together a full routine for the opening, and that was not the plan. That was the athleticism I was hoping to see because I meant to prepare myself to organize the production around the fact that we had some real cheerleaders, some smash leads, and they were ready to throw out some skills. That was very, very cool.


How is the Miss Cheerleader USA pageant different from the other pageants?

One of the main things is knowing who you are and your brand. After the first year with this pageant, I’ve figured out who we are and what we’re there for. I’m shifting the focus from pageantry to competition. The pageant elements will still be part of the production, but we will highlight the competition element. We are changing the title to Miss Cheerleader of America and establishing two different systems to accompany the Miss Cheerleader USA competition. What will be different is that we will not expect individuals to come in, win a title, and represent us. Instead, we ask individuals to go in, do their best, and allow us to take the journey with them. We want to be in their corner, encourage them, support them, guide them, help them better, develop who they are on and off the mat, and more.

The hope is to take care of the competitors in a way that prepares them for society and the person they will be years from now. It is not that every pageant system isn’t structured their way. But I know for me. Personally, it is now about the crown. I always tell the girls this and the guys we have as well: I could care less who wins. I genuinely could care less. One, because to me, the ones who succeed are those who engage throughout all the interaction. Anyone can walk over to the title. It’s what you get out of that time that you spend together, and I want to be an organization that, years from now, gets to see the true life. I want to hear stories of how the students who were part of our organization and how their lives were radically changed because of our impact on them beyond the title.

I look forward to all the others who may never win, you know? They get more from the organization than the ones who did win.

So we are transforming our pageant structure for season two. We’re going to change it to be more like American Idol meets So You Think You Can Dance, where our judge’s panel will be the same, and they will coach them. You get the competitor’s feedback leading up to nationals and even during nationals. They’ll be more interactive, and many pageants don’t do that. We will have the same judging panel that selects them at the preliminary competition that then guides them with feedback. So then, by the time the competitors advance to a national event, the judges are the same people who have seen them. These judges will give competitors more encouragement and feedback, and then they will select the overall winner based on the well-rounded growth of who they are as individuals.


What do you think is the secret to running a successful pageant?

 When you find out, let me know, and I’ll tell them. The funny thing is I have produced for a long time. So I was very comfortable in Atlanta,  but I have been the director of an organization in the pageant system of competition, and it was hard because it’s two sides of the brain that have to work in tandem. Sometimes those two perspectives are crunching at the same time. It can be overwhelming! And so, I’ll say that the secret is surrounding yourself with people whose strengths are your weaknesses, hands down. That’s the most important thing: there is no one alive that is perfect. Having the support system in place is critical!


Thank you to Frank for sitting down and talking with us. We cannot wait to see what the

Miss Cheerleader USA Pageant has in store in the future!


Want to hear more from Frank about the Miss Cheerleader USA Pageant?



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Picking the Right Music :

Music for a recreational team can be challenging. Recreational cheerleading squads are teams which are normally organized around a program meant to support an athletic system for youth or middle school programs. As a result, there are a lot more structures in place to protect these student athletes from things like vulgarity or inappropriate moves. Taking this into account is an important part of designing appropriate music for recreational (rec) teams.


The Issue with Pop Music

A lot of modern-day pop songs may seem like obvious choices, but there are often inappropriate references in these songs that make them poor choices, despite their popularity. One place that you can go to find appropriate music is with a specialized pre-recorded cheerleading mix production company like They have all the appropriate songs with appropriate lyrics for every age level.


Parental Considerations

When you are thinking about your rec team’s performance pieces, remember to think about the families in attendance. These family members are there to watch their athletes. The last thing you want as an organizer for a rec team is to have parents upset or offended by music. Choosing from one of the hundreds of pre-recorded tracks on Cheerleading Mix can take away that concern.


The Problem with “Clean” Remixes

Often the athletes themselves do not know all the words that are in a song and may not realize that something is inappropriate. The fact that they don’t know the words but want to sing does not remove the organizer from responsibility in the parents’ eyes. Finding the appropriate lyrics and even edited versions of pop songs can be problematic. Any edited or radio-friendly versions of the songs replace offensive words simply by silencing them or using alternate lyrics. Unfortunately, the athletes often know the real words and will say them out of habit regardless. So this alone is not enough.


Safe Music for Recreational Use

The best choice is to have music that doesn’t have any profanity in it in the first place. That’s where we, your friends at Cheerleading Mix, come into the rescue. Our vast library of age-appropriate music with an intuitive interface makes it the perfect choice for your rec performances.


Copyright Considerations

There are serious consequences to using copyrighted materials in a performance if you have not received permission from the artists. Most of the songs you hear on the radio are created by artists and writers. Those songs are their intellectual property, and using it without their express permission is a violation of U.S. copyright law. This could result in a lawsuit and even potential criminal charges. To avoid that try to use music that already has the licensing predetermined. All of the materials at Cheerleading Mix have been expressly designed for use in performance, and purchasing from us automatically guarantees that you will have all licensing necessary to keep your music legal.

So the next time you and your squad need the perfect mix for your rec team, consider us. Our pre-recorded and pre-licensed materials are not only family-friendly but are also created by some of the best cheerleading music producers in the country. All of the tracks at Cheerleading Mix were written and recorded by the amazing producers at New Level Music, the national leader in custom cheer music. The high-energy cheerleading music found there is designed to be used in performances like those for rec teams. The music is full of dynamic, intense beats, but always with appropriate lyrics for any audience.

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Simone Smith has spent her whole life performing for crowds. She is among the vanguard for high school competitive cheerleading in the state of Georgia. Her squad at Hardaway High School was selected to perform for the athletes in the Olympic Village for the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games. Her experience as a dancer on Georgia Southern University’s Southern Explosion dance team only cemented her passion for performance. After college, Simone began competing in open division all-star cheerleading for Force All-Stars, Cobra, and the Force/ProCheer dual venture known as ProForce. During this time, she gained valuable experience both as a performer and a coordinator for those teams.

As expansive as Simone’s resume is as a competitor in cheerleading and dance, her experience as a coach is even more impactful. Simone began coaching cheerleading in the late 1990s at Cheersouth Columbus before moving to Atlanta. There, she worked at Force Cheerleading and Atlanta’s Best Cheerleading for nearly a decade. She coached briefly at Georgia All Stars and Georgia Comets before transitioning to a more permanent position at Future Extreme. Simone continued when Future Extreme was absorbed by Jayhawks, and she now coaches at Star Athletics in Winder, Georgia. Simone was kind enough to sit down with us and answer a few questions about all-star cheerleading.


What has been the biggest challenge for your team this  past year?

 Good question. I would say the biggest issue for our team has been adjusting for and expanding our COVID protocols as expectations and mitigation strategies change. While the threat of transmission and the requirements to compete have not been as arduous as they were, there were still some struggles. Our athletes do get sick, and have to be out. It has been a real challenge to continue to make practices work and happen. The quarantine period has been shortened considerably from the 14-day period we experienced last year. But when you have to have that person out for so many days it becomes difficult for their stunt groups, keeping formations tight, and all the other elements of successful performance. Even with strong mitigation strategies in place, we have still seen a little bit of the absences and there has been some anxiety about an athlete contracting COVID on the week of a competition. Without a doubt the biggest issue our teams have faced is making sure we can still have full practices despite the absences stemming from the pandemic.


How did you and your team overcome this challenge?

It has definitely helped that the CDC has relaxed the constraints about quarantine, mask use, and social distancing. Just lessening the days an athlete has to be in quarantine has definitely helped. We have certain protocols in place. For example, if a cheerleader has already been vaccinated we can expedite their return and reduce the amount of contact tracing necessary to keep the athletes safe. Having those policies helps us decide when an athlete can come back and what we can do as a team. The policies and procedures that Star Athletics has put in place has helped us not to have so many athletes out for so many days. This means that athletes can still compete, if we are prepared in advance.

The other thing that has really helped has been the ability to backfill positions from other teams at our gym. This is something we want to avoid, generally, because it puts a lot of strain on the other teams, but we are able to pull from different teams when we need a fill-in. That lets us keep full stunt groups or even stack groups. Contacting alternates as soon as we learn about a team member who is in quarantine allows the athletes to come in before the actual practice and at least learn the stack. Having the flexibility to pull athletes from other squads has definitely helped to lessen the stress and strain caused by COVID.


Tell me about a wonderful surprise from your most recent season.

Of course, wins are always great. But this year I have to say that both of my teams hitting both days at CHEERSPORT was a big accomplishment for my teams and the program. This year, the performances were more than just winning, it was about having two hard hitting phenomenal performances. My squad knows that I always say: I want that feeling of just enjoying the routine, having fun, and when they get to that dance, they know that they hit a great routine, and the crowd and the athletes can go crazy when they get to the dance. I was able to literally do that for four performances over the CHEERSPORT weekend because both teams hit, both days and the crowd was enthusiastic, loud, and supportive. It was that good feeling of “you know what, y’all put it out there and finally pulled it together!” CHEERSPORT had two big wins for both of the teams, and for it to all finally come together on the floor, it was a great feeling!


What changes would you like to see in the sport of cheerleading?

I know a lot of people complain about the score sheet and consistency issues in scoring. Everybody’s always going to complain about that, you’re not going to be able to make everyone happy. Improving consistency will always be a work in progress and that’s with any score sheet, whether it’s high school or all-star, even college. So I think as long as the competition officials are looking at it, and keeping it top of mind, they can work on finding a solution that is fair across the board. Unfortunately, inconsistency in scoring is an issue everywhere, whether it is in all-star judging or even in high school judging where I am on the judging side of things. So I get it and understand it from a coach’s side as well as from a judge’s perspective. Working to develop a more consistent scoring system could help to advance the sport, this is what I would like to see.


What one piece of advice is important for athletes and coaches to remember?

Try to make cheerleading also about life lessons, because the young adults that we coach have so many different things that are going on in their lives. Social interaction has changed in the last ten years. It’s just different from the way life was when I was growing up. That is why it is important to help athletes understand that the lessons we learn in cheerleading can be expanded into lessons about life. When we, as coaches, say “Hey, wear this outfit, wear this bow, be here on time” those are not just cheer lessons: they are life lessons. When you get a job, you have to be on time, you have to wear the right outfit. You can’t go to Chick fil A and wear whatever kind of outfit you want. If you come to work and say, “oh, I lost my shirt,” you are probably not going to be able to work that day and may get sent home with no pay. Cheerleading teaches athletes to be responsible and accountable. So in addition to learning cheer, how to tumble, stunt, and do a routine, I would advise cheerleaders to learn the life lessons inherent in the sport and apply it to everyday life as well.


Thank you so much to Simone for giving all of us here at the opportunity to speak with her and learn a little more about what is going on in the cheerleading community! Want to see Simone’s team performing at CHEERSPORT? Just look below!







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Which Comes First: Music or Choreography?

It’s time to start thinking about cheerleading music again. You have been working this summer on new stunts, you’ve put time in the gym improving your tumbling, and you’ve got one of the hottest new choreographers coming to help your team learn a new routine. Obviously, you want an epic cheer mix that will put your routine over the top. But there are several questions you need to ask before picking the perfect track. Should you and your team do the choreography first and then hire a music producer to create a custom mix based on your routine? Should you pick an existing music track like one of the ones found at and choreograph your routine to that music?


The Choreographer’s Preference

There are several important factors to consider to figure out whether music or choreography should come first for your squad. One of them is the tastes of your choreographer. If you have an outside choreographer that you’ve hired, they will often want to create their choreography first and then have you create custom music to their choreography. That is the preference for the majority of choreographers. However not every choreographer prefers this; some will ask for the music in advance, especially when they are creating the dance. Knowing what music you want before choreography starts can really help smooth out the process, even for those who would ask you to have custom music made after their choreography is over.


What is your Budget?

Another very important consideration is budget. Having custom music made can be expensive, often costing thousands of dollars for a two and a half minute song. However, the music at Cheerleading Mix is significantly less expensive, costing only a few hundred dollars. The interface at their site makes it simple for anyone to find the perfect cheerleading mix. The hundreds of songs on the Cheerleading Mix catalog and the customization tools available make it easy for you and your squad to find the perfect mix that’s going to really take your routine to the next level. You can also add custom voice overs and sound effects for even more personalization.


There are some real challenges to figuring out what is best for your squad every year. Having the music first is definitely a more financially viable option, so if you and your squad are in a situation where money is a little bit tight, then that is likely the better option. If money is no object and your gym will easily be able to hire a choreographer and have custom music made, that would be a better option. For a custom track, consider using New Level Music. Its stable of highly qualified music producers have created the best cheerleading mixes in the country and have more 2022 Cheerleading World Champions than any other music production company.


Want to hear some of the epic cheer mixes from New Level Music last year? Check out the music for Navarro, the team featured in Netflix’ CHEER documentary:



This amazing cheer track was produced by Cheer Music Pro, aka Patrick Avard, just one of the amazing artists who work to create pioneering music for New Level Music.

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Teighlyr from Royal Custom Music has been creating some of the most pioneering cheerleading mixes of the last decade. As one of cheer’s biggest personalities, his creative process has culminated in a dynamic catalogue of high-energy and audacious music. Pulling inspiration from club queens and the megaverse of competitive drag, he has spent the past few seasons moving toward a more aggressive and bold sound that has become among the most transformative in the world of cheer music. If you have a vision for your mix and your team, he can make it a reality. Teighlyr was kind enough to sit down with us and talk about his perspective, inspiration, and the future of cheerleading music.


How long have you been producing music?

 I started producing just for my own cheerleading program I worked at back in 2007. I slowly started doing a little more work for some high schools I coached and choreographed for and then was approached by some friends of other gyms to work for them as well. As my individual client list grew, I also started working for my friend Mike at CheerMixALot. From there, I started attending New Level Music training seminars and was signed into the NLM program in 2012.


What do you think is the key to making an epic cheer track?

 I think the most important part of creating an epic mix is for the mix to fit the program and the team’s vision. I spend a lot of time reaching out to clients – whether they are new clients to me or returning – and trying to get an idea of what they would like for their team. Every team and every program is different and the wants, desires, and needs for each team can always change. The most important part of this job is making a track that the clients will love. The kids have to be able to get into the mix so they can perform their absolute best to it, and the coaches have to be able to listen to it 1,000+ times and not get tired of it. That’s my primary focus. I want the kids and coaches to love what they hear.


How do you create so many memorable mixes each year?

 I do my best to try and keep up with the current trends (even as I progressively age past the point of being cool anymore) by asking the kids I coach and my clients what they want to hear. Whether it be vocal trends, song trends, sounds, social media, etc. – I think that cheerleading mixes should adapt and change to fit the desires of the clients and the industry in general. I also get a lot of inspiration from my artists who I write with, take notes from, and hear different styles from. It’s important to know that what Royal Custom Music produces is hardly a one person job. I am so thankful for the vocal artists, audio engineers, and many music producer friends that help keep my mixes fun, fresh, and different from team-to-team and season-to-season.


Do you produce music outside of cheerleading?

 I have had the opportunity to work with many artists in the drag industry on multiple projects such as Alyssa Edwards (vocal recording, tracking, mastering) and Kahannah Montrese (writing ‘Scores’ along with co-writer and fellow New Level Music Producer, Eric). I’ve also scored live performances for Dallas-based artists on tour.

What do you think lies in the future for cheerleading music?

 The great part about the future of cheerleading music is that I believe it’s fully open to the interpretation of the industry itself. I know as years have passed and we have grown more accustomed to fully original mixes, that we will see that trend continue to grow and develop providing more musical opportunities for local artists to be celebrated in cheerleading routines. It also provides a natural outlet for artists, writers, and producers to shine in their varying crafts.


What have you been listening to, recently?

 I spend a large amount of my time not listening to anything. If I am not working at my gym or in a workout class, I am most likely driving in silence or only listening to reference tracks for original content that I am working on with my production team. The HIIT classes I attend typically have remixes of top charting 90’s and 00’s music as well as newer artists that are now drawing from those older styles – which is pretty much right in my pocket in terms of music that I gravitate towards. I also have developed an interest in EDM and festival-style music, as that sound has become prevalent in the industry.


Are you affiliated with any other music production projects?

 I have worked with Equality Records on music production, which is a company that is also owned by Global Mix’s Eric Rodriguez.


What advice do you have for programs looking to push the envelope with their music?

I think the most important thing to do is to remember that your program is allowed to have its own sound. And all of your teams are allowed to be different. And no one should have a certain standard set on what cheerleading music should or shouldn’t sound like. If you want an over-the-top theme – go for it! If you want to try something that hasn’t been done for it, reach out to your producer and see what it would take to make that vision happen for you. If you like the way something sounds for a different program and you want to know how to translate that to your program and your team – open up the communication lines with your production company early in the season and see how they can make your dream a reality.

I think that cheerleading music is both a product and a service and should be treated with a common respect of communication and paired ideals. Some of my favorite mixes that I’ve made for clients were a result of shared concepts and ideas – and some of my previous mixes that I wasn’t in love with came from a lack of information or originality. It’s just as much of a group effort between the producer and the client about the team as it is about the production ability if you want to have a solid final product.


Thank you to Teighlyr for sitting down and talking with us at CheerleadingMix. His music has been transforming the cheer community, and he has made some of the most memorable mixes of 2022. Check out the hot track he created for Rain Athletics Eclipse during the 2021-2022 season:



Remember that ground-breaking cheer music producers like Teighlyr are contributing to the  powerful cheerleading mixes found at If you do not have the budget for custom cheer music, jump into the effortless tools and easy interface at Cheerleading Mix to leverage the innovative work of some of the most talented producers in the game, and create the perfect cheer mix for your squad.

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