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Varsity All Star's Small Gym of the Month

We teamed up with CheerBiz News to recognize programs with 125 athletes of less that exemplifies dedication and excellence in operations. These programs have excelled both on and off the competition floor, and we salute them for the high standard they have set! Gyms are nominated by our Varsity All Star's Advisorsand a new small gym will be announced each issue of CheerBiz. Congratulations to our spotlighted Small Gyms!


LA Dream- CA

What makes your program unique? D.R.E.A.M. stands for dedication, respect, effort, achievement and maturity. We believe/ladream-photo.jpg?v=1 that our true mission is to prepare our athletes to become productive and successful members of our community. We use All Star cheer as the vehicle to drive the qualities set forth by our philosophy. We are a faith based and service based cheer program. We keep God first in everything we do and require our cheerleaders to complete service projects every season. We inspire our athletes to stay focused, hardworking and humble. We believe, “Teamwork Makes the D.R.E.A.M. Work!”

Buckeye Cheer Elite- OH

Does your gym participate in any philanthropic activities? Why is this important in developing today’s athletes? Our Booster program picks a new charity to support each season. Our 2015-2016 season charity was St. Jude Children’s /LadyCats.jpg?v=1Research Hospital. There were several ways our program collected donations. For example, friends and family could purchase a “good luck” star and write a message on it for a particular BCE athlete. Those stars would then get posted throughout the gym lobby for everyone to enjoy.

Philanthropic activities are crucial in the development of young athletes. It’s so easy to get caught up in our everyday busy lives and helping others is not only humbling, but it also helps provide perspective, allowing athletes to learn first-hand that giving is more rewarding than receiving.

Premier Athletics Lexington - KY

What have you enjoyed seeing from other teams this competition season? I love seeing superstitions or traditions that /KY-photo.jpg?v=1teams have. It’s those small things that bring teams together. Whether it’s a backstage tradition, a handshake or a certain chant, the bond that those moments create will bring strength and boost morale when teams need it most. 

Rhode Island Elite All Stars- RI

Does Elite All Stars do any extracurricular activities? Why is this important in developing today’s youth?  Our gym takes part in many different extracurricular activities. We try to instill in our athletes that it is much better to give back then to receive. Our athletes take part in many different fundraisers to help raise money for a great cause such as, Adopt a Family, Donation to /RIE-photo.jpg?v=1Soup Kitchens and Cheer for Dana Farber, sponsored by the New England Patriots. Cheer for Dana Farber is a cancer research fundraiser. I feel that volunteering is important in developing today’s youth because it teaches them that giving back to others is very rewarding. Such volunteering shapes our athletes into well-rounded adults with great values. 

Blaze Cheer and Tumble- TX

What’s one of the toughest parts of your job? How do you overcome that, and what advice do you have for others who may be struggling with it?  One of the toughest parts of my job is when an athlete is unable to throw or pull a skill that they have been working extremely hard for. The look of disappoint on their face and their teammates’ faces sometimes keeps me/IMG_20151124_072939.jpg?v=1 up at night. I ask myself, “What am I not doing right?” and “What do I need to do to break through to this kid?” I know all too well how that one skill, no matter how basic, can affect them for the remainder of their All Star career. Sometimes just remembering what I needed from my coaches as an athlete to get me to that next level is all that’s needed to break through to these kids. They don’t always need “Coach Mel” to get the job done. Sometimes Melanie is more than enough.

Cheer University- NJ

Share your thoughts on what it’s like being a small gym competing against much larger programs.  I find one of the hardest challenges is the size of the talent pool that you have to form and sustain your teams with. When you are a large gym, you get to form your teams out of hundreds of athletes, so forming teams that fit in to the USASF age guidelines and maximize Cheer Universitythe scoring system is a much easier process. When you have 75 children of a vast range of ages and skill level, the formation of teams is very challenging. Also, if an athlete gets injured during the season, finding a replacement is tough, especially if it is an athlete from a higher level team.

Elite Force Cheer- WA

What does it mean to you to be selected as the CBN Small Gym of the Month? I think it’s amazing to know we’re looked at all the way over here in the tri-cities of Washington. We’re a small gym full of amazing people. The staff, athletes and the /EliteCheerForce.jpg?v=1parents of the gym all have big hearts, and I couldn’t be more proud to be a part of Elite Force Cheer.

CheerCorps All Stars- NC

If you could describe your program in one word, what would it be and why?  Persevering—with small numbers, you have to /CC-website.jpg?v=1be ready for changes in rules and regulations. It’s hard filling in for injury or illness if you don’t have the correct age or level to be able to step in. You just have to keep pushing forward. You have to get creative in finding ways to make things work. Do your best to handle the unexpected, and just keep moving forward. 

Valley All Stars- TX

What does it mean to you to be selected as the Small Gym of the Month? Being selected as Small Gym of the Month is really a blessing and an amazing recognition. We here at Valley All Stars wear the Small Gym banner (D-II now) as a badge of/SN_5006_F3_0023.JPG?v=1 honor. Even though we all want progress and growth, being a small gym forever isn’t bad when we have the support of our great parents and the commitment of our great athletes! We are the underdogs, or at least some people might think we are. And who doesn't love a good underdog story? 

Turners All Stars- PA

What’s one of the toughest parts of your job? How do you overcome that, and what advice do you have for others who may be struggling with it?One of the toughest jobs for any gym owner or coach is to know up front that not everyone will be /Senior5.jpg?v=1happy with all of the decisions that you make. Know that you can only do so much and that your most important job is to make sure that your cheerleaders are as successful as they can possibly be and that they are learning more than just cheerleading in your gym. The life lessons that they learn are the tools that will make them successful in life.

Florida Triple Threat- FL

What are your goals for the 2014-2015 competitive season?To keep our program growing into the future, our goals are to maintain success at every level, keeping it fun and building loyalty, which seems to be missing in today's times.  We see /CHEERSPORT2014MIAMI090.JPG?v=1ourselves at the top of the cheer world in the next five years.  In order to achieve this, we must have athlete retention. This is the hardest thing I feel a gym owner has to deal with.  It's not like the days when my daughter was cheering and you wouldn't dare go cheer for the team down the street. You stayed with your team no matter what. Unfortunately, today there seems to be a rush to get your child to the top. Our goal is to keep them in the gym and let them grow into the cheerleader they want and can be. From there, our next goal is to get our athletes into their choice of college to cheer. This year we had five girls that made collegiate teams across the country. That’s something we are just as proud of as any title or ring.

Advanced Cheer All Starz- KS

Share your thoughts on what it’s like being a small gym competing against much larger programs. We have competed all /smallgym4.jpg?v=1over the United States with pretty much every company. We have seen the best of the best! But we just try to keep a ground perspective of where we are and what our own personal gym goals are.  We like competing against the larger gyms though and have learned so much from them. We all have the same commonality: We love the sport of All Star cheer! 

SoCal SELECT Allstars- CA

What makes your program unique?: At Select we make sure we push every athlete to their fullest potential both physically and /image7_copy.jpeg?v=1mentally, while teaching them some of the lessons life throws at us. We express the importance of being on a team and the role that each athlete plays. We also do community service around the holidays with senior citizen homes and soup kitchens in the area. Above all what makes SoCal Select unique is that we work alongside the parents and teachers in making sure the athletes in our program are doing well in school. We have the athletes bring us their report cards throughout the season, and they know if their grades are slipping they will sit out of practice and/or competition until they improve. We even offer tutors and extra help if that is what needed! Select is proud that 90% of our program has straight A's.

Douglasville Cheer Stars- GA

Give us the inside scoop on your program: Douglasville Cheer Stars strives to provide every athlete with “An Unforgettable AllStart typing the name of a site image or enter the URL Star Experience!” Cheer Stars takes pride in introducing and developing a love for competitive cheerleading to the youth in our community. In a disciplined, family environment, we teach the importance of hard work, teamwork, leadership and time management skills. Understanding that “we’ll lose some competitions that we maybe ought to have won, and we’ll win some competitions we might should have lost,” we teach our athletes to win humbly and to lose gracefully. We also emphasize the concept of “when you lose, don’t lose the lesson.” Quite simply, our main goal is to enrich children’s lives through the sport of competitive cheer, helping to build self-confidence and self-esteem, while also teaching life lessons that can be carried with children far beyond their All Star years.