Cheerleading traces its roots to the late 19th century, when crowds began to chant and yell to encourage their team. Credit for the first organized cheer is often given to a University of Minnesota student named Johnny Campbell. Since that time cheering has undergone a number of changes to become an organized sport in its own right. The sport involves short routines that combine dance, gymnastics, and stunt elements to cheer on teams. There are a few youth cheerleading and tumbling programs offered for a variety of ages and skill levels here in Des Moines.
Kids that participate in cheerleading learn teamwork, leadership, sportsmanship and dedication. The sport also develops athlete’s motor skills and builds strength. Cheerleading incorporates multiple disciplines and features a lot of gymnastics and dance moves. In addition, cheerleading can help your child feel confident and be a part of a team.
Cheerleading does have a bit of a stigma and has received a lot of bad press in recent years. Even though it is popular, the “gray area” between athletics and cheerleading, may mean the difference between schools or clubs having a well-trained seasoned coach versus a volunteer who means well but doesn’t know much about the sport and its safety issues. Jumps, lifts and pyramid formations can be dangerous, and concussion rates among cheerleaders are growing.
If your child dances around the living room, has good balance and displays upper-body strength then they may enjoy cheerleading or tumbling.
Younger Kids typically attend a half hour to hour lesson once a week.
Intermediate and advanced cheerleaders may attend ten or more hours of practice a week, plus they may attend weekend competitions.
- Water Bottle
- Gym Bag
- Practice Clothes (hair ties, socks, leotard, booty shorts, capris and other accessories)
- Cheer Shoes
- Competition Items (Team Uniform, Warm-Ups)
- Registration Fee: average $25 (may be a one-time or annual fee)
- Lessons: start at $10 per class per week (will depend on number of classes enrolled in)
- Practice Clothes: $5+
Competition: (In addition to costs above)
- Competition Lessons: start at $10 per class per week (will depend on number of routines participating in)
- Competition Fees: $25+ (annually)
- Shoes: $25+ (can look for used shoes)
- Uniform: $25+
- Travel Expenses: $100-$500 average per event
Fees vary according to what is provided by the organizing entity. Please keep in mind some fees are one time, others are recurring. All costs are approximate. As with any activity, as your child progresses, only your family can choose what you will spend in relation to your child’s specific goals within the sport whether competitively or recreationally.
Local Places Where Kids Can Participate in Cheerleading or Tumbling in Des Moines
There are several places where kids can participate in cheerleading and tumbling scattered across the metro. A few are listed below. Schools/Community Education and city parks and recreations departments also offer tumbling and cheerleading for younger kids.
Apex Athletics– Johnston
Becky Nalevanko’s Dance & Tumbling Studio – Pleasant Hill
Cheer Iowa Athletics – Des Moines
Dynasty Cheer & Tumble – West Des Moines
Grimes Superstars – Grimes
Iowa All Stars – Urbandale
Koach All Stars – Ankeny
Valley Community Church – West Des Moines
What do you think, is cheerleading or tumbling a fit for your kid?