Countdown to the MAJORS!!

In a few days, teams competing at the MAJORS will be arriving in Indianapolis to put on the show of a lifetime! As the big day gets closer and closer, athletes are practicing harder and coaches are nitpicking every aspect of the routine, all to put on a MAJOR production for the fans who will be watching the event. We caught up with an athlete from each of the teams attending the MAJORS and asked them some questions for tips, advice, and how-to’s. Let’s see what they had to say!


  • Matt Smith- Cheer Athletics Cheetahs
    • Q: What are some good ways to stay in shape outside of the gym that make running the routine easier when practice comes? (at home conditioning circuits, specific exercises, stamina building)
    • A: When I’m outside the gym, the best way to stay in shape for my routine is eating healthy. On top of that, running, sit ups, push ups, or just going to tumble for fun at the gym.
  • Jordan Lukens- Cheer Extreme Coed Elite
    • Q: How do you and other veterans welcome new athletes to the team?
    • A: I welcome the new members of the team by making them feel like a regular member of coed. Veterans hold them to the same standard as the other members so we make sure we don’t treat them any different. Also, I think team bonding is an important part in welcoming new athletes. Coed takes part in activities to let everyone get to know each other. We even have a group chat to talk about most everything!
  • Malik Bailey- Stingray All Stars Steel
    • Q: How do you control your nerves backstage as you are about to perform?
    • A: From a personal standpoint, my way of staying focused is making sure my entire team is on the same page and is ready to take the floor. It’s funny because in doing that I myself look like a total spaz… I pace the backstage area checking in on everyone, yelling encouragement, and in some cases making people do jumping jacks with me to stay warm. The worlds announcers last season even joked about how anxious I looked to get out there because all they saw was a guy running around clapping and getting his team excited! I do promise that when I do look like a total spaz, I’m actually at complete peace and am ready to take the mat. So you could say that to get calm and relaxed I do just about the opposite!


  • Esther Verges- Cheer Athletics Panthers
    • Q: We all know everything is bigger in Texas. What are your secrets to getting the perfect competition hair?
    • A: First, you have to have hair that is at least two days dirty (three days if you’re feeling risqué). Next you need a teasing brush- that is an absolute necessity! Next take 1 inch pieces and tease the heck out of each one. It’s absolutely imperative that you spray each 1″ section with hairspray (personally, I like Big Sexy Hair Spray & Play) before AND after you tease each one. A ponytail (I like Goody Ouchless Elastic Thick Ponytailers.. we Texas girls have A LOT of hair!) NOW, to get that fabulous BAB look, put. Then gently form your pouf (this takes a little BAB finesse). Next bobby pin that perfect pouf in place. Put the rest of your hair in bobby pins at the base of the pony tail hair tie facing up ( to help your pony tail stand up more). Then tease each 1″ section of your ponytail (adding hairspray before and after.) Gently smooth over the top of the ponytail with a soft-bristled brush. Add more hairspray. Continue to add hairspray every 15 mins until you”re on deck! And Voilá…. Texas hair!
  • Lauryn Hughes- Cheer Extreme Senior Elite
    • Q:W hat types of team bonding activities does your team have that help you become closer outside the gym?
    • A: Senior elite is very close this season. At the very beginning of the season we made a group chat with all team members and some coaches. This has helped us become close as team and get to know each other. Also, some weekends when we have practice we go to team dinners or lunches and even once went to play laser tag. This was just something fun that we decided to even after a long day of practice. With no doubt these things have brought closer than any other team I have been on.
  • Maria Lane- Fire and Ice 5 Alarm
    • Q: What are three things a cheerleader cannot survive without for a competition weekend?
    • A: Three things a cheerleader absolutely cannot survive without for competition weekend is hair spray, your uniform, and beats/headphones!
  • Taryn Burke- Maryland Twisters F5
    • Q: What are some tips you have for other flyers?
    • A: My biggest tip to other flyers is to be confident. If you fly with confidence the crowd will be drawn to you! You should take 20-30 minutes out of everyday to stretch your body positions. When you’re in the air make sure you smile and do facials because all eyes are on you! If you love what you’re doing it will come across when you’re flying.
  • Caroline Manning- Stingray All Stars Orange
    • Q: What types of stretching/conditioning does your team do to make jumps hyper-extended, superbly executed, and timed perfectly?
    • A: At The Stingray Allstars we do a lot of strength training for full body, but within that we do lots of leg workouts to gain muscles that will help us out when we are tired. We focus on timing as a team throughout our whole routine. It helps when you’re tired to have a muscle memory to kick in so our jumps can be executed well. From then on we focus strictly on maintaining the same jump technique that we were taught as a team. Consistency is very important so if every team member focuses on using great technique and timing every time they jump, we can all trust that our jumps will be well executed the exact same way they would be at practice! We stretch on our own and sometimes do splits. We jump over and over sometimes with rubber bands, but mainly it is about repetition.
  • Lyric Generals- World Cup Shooting Stars
    • Q: Describe something about your team that you believe makes you stand out from everyone else.
    • A: I believe that Shooting Stars stand out from everyone else because of the traditions and legacies that we’ve carried out for over 20 years. These traditions and legacies definitely help to keep the team together. For instance, we’ve worn our leopard bows since the first Shooting Stars team back in 1994. We also have unconventional music and choreography! Our team has unique themes every year which makes our routines different and exciting to watch. These traditions and legacies make us who we are and without them, we wouldn’t be the same team that we’ve been for the past 20 years.


  • Deejay Wright- Maryland Twisters Reign
    • Q: How do you balance schoolwork, practice, and a social life? What tips do you have for time management?
    • A: It’s not easy! However I have a super strong support system that helps keep my life balanced. Not only do I cheer, but I also play football for my high school. So when I’m not practicing with my football team, I’m making my way to cheer. Although my gym is in Maryland, I live in Virginia. Thankfully there are a handful of athletes on my team from the same area so we carpool. Sometimes I have to miss some social events with friends but I know it comes with the territory of being an elite athlete. I cherish the free time I have but love being a part of a team.
  • Harrison Milford- Spirit of Texas Purple Royalty
    • Q: How we fuel our bodies before we perform is extremely important. What is your favorite pre-competition snack/meal? What kinds of food give you the energy you need to perform?
    • A: Before I compete, I like to drink gatorade for electrolytes, sour patch kids for energy and sugar, and saltine crackers so my stomach won’t get upset.
  • Braxton Predmore- Twist and Shout Obsession
    • Q: What is your team’s favorite pre-competition ritual/tradition that helps with calming your nerves/getting y’all pumped to perform?
    • A: One of our favorite pre-competition rituals is singing. We sing a lot just to help us relax and get ready to put on a show. We’re kind of superstitious in the fact that we don’t split poles for stairways. The entire team has to walk on the exact same side. We’ll break out and circle up with our stunt groups to help motivate each other and let our teammates know that we’re all in it together. Then we’ll circle back up as a team to pray.

We hope everyone is excited to see the talented teams attending this year’s competition. Be sure to follow @MAJORScheer on twitter for updates and watch the action on CheerLive! This year will be the biggest MAJORS yet… 2015 here we come!

Balancing All-Star and School Cheerleading

All cheerleaders may jump, flip, or stunt, but not all cheerleaders are the same. There are school cheerleaders who focus on keeping up the spirits of the crowd, while supporting a sports team and all-star cheerleaders who showcase their skills through a competitive atmosphere. For some people who love every aspect of cheerleading though, they choose to do both. As difficult as it can be to be on both a school and all-star cheerleading team, it takes full commitment to both teams. Maintaining a schedule and addressing conflicts in your schedule ahead of time is key to successfully being on both teams. School and all-star cheerleading have their similarities and differences and although it can be challenging to be on both, experience in one area of cheerleading can actually contribute to aspects in another area of cheerleading.


  1. All-star and school cheerleaders spend most of their time facing a crowd, make sure to always smile and remain upbeat
  2. School teams that compete use a dead mat. This makes it extremely important to use proper technique when tumbling, to prevent injury
  3. Where all-star cheerleaders need to be as flashy as possible to standout to judges from a far distance, school cheerleaders typically take a more natural approach when it comes to hair and make-up
  4. Sports fans can be loud, make sure to be even louder while maintaining a speed the crowd can chant along to

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Teammates On and Off the Mat

One of the greatest aspects of cheerleading is the bond created between teammates. From all of the rough practices to the greatest performances, no one can relate to what you experience better than the ones by your side through it all. But being a teammate is more than just wearing the same uniform and performing to the same music. A teammate is someone you can trust on AND off the mat. Having older teammates “mentor” younger teammates can help build stronger bonds within the team. Some teams refer to this as “bigs” and “littles,” “big sister/little sister,” or “brothers” for coed teams, etc. This works especially well when veterans take the big sister/brother role and can mentor rookie teammates. Veterans can use their knowledge and experience from past seasons on the team to positively influence rookies and younger athletes. “Bigs” motivate “littles” to push harder at practice, they encourage and motivate “littles” throughout the routine, but most importantly, “bigs” are the person “littles” can trust and go to about anything. Whether it is cheer related or even just venting about a bad grade at school, it is important for rookies/younger athletes to know that they have someone they can go to about anything. Not only does this create special individual bonds, it will also make the team stronger as a whole. Having a shoulder to cry on or a person to hug after every performance is something every cheerleader should have: a teammate on and off the mat.


Terrific Showcase Tips:

For some, mid-October means that Halloween is approaching, as are other holidays…but for cheerleaders, mid-October means competition season is about to begin! Before even thinking about competing, you must tackle the showcase. This is your first time performing your routine in front of people, aside from members of your gym and your coaches. Here are some tips for a successful showcase day:

• Show up ready and prepared, just like its competition day.
• Invite family and friends to see not only your progress, but your teams as well.
• Nutrition on the morning of is very important. Nobody wants to feel fatigued as they’re running for their tumbling pass.
• PERFORM!!!!!!! This is the best place to be silly and really get into your routine.
• If you make a mistake, it’s not the end of the world. Remind yourself that it’s just a showcase and this is your first time in front of a crowd! Better to happen here than at an actual competition.
• Celebrate your routine and create lasting memories with teammates.hqdefault

A showcase is a great way to kick off a season and let the athletes get a feel of what it’ll feel like in a couple weeks when they actually have to compete and get scored. Keep in mind that this performance does not make or break your season; it’s just the beginning of what’s to come. Good luck! Go out there and do the best you can.

Team Bonding

team bondingAs competition season starts to pick up, it is so important to make sure that everyone on your team feels comfortable around each other! Every year there are new people, and making sure that you reach out to them is necessary! Team bonding is crucial and can really have a positive impact on how a team develops throughout the season. Try and do at least 1-2 team bonding events each season! Don’t wait for your coaches to plan something, take the initiative to plan something on your own!

Some fun team bonding ideas are:Ropes Course with your team

  • Movie Sleepover Night: What’s better than some chick flicks and a pillow fight with your teammates?!
  • Go Out to Eat as a Team: Who doesn’t love food?!
  • Ropes Course: Face your fear of heights with your teammates cheering you on!
  • Volunteering: Nothing is better than giving back to your community while spending time with teammates!
  • Craft Night: Make matching team bracelets together and wear them until they fall off!
  • Themed Practice: Vote on your favorite theme and get creative with the costumes!
  • Music Video: Dress up in cute costumes and sing and dance to your favorite song! Record the video and share with your gym!

And remember, whatever your team ends up doing, always make sure that everyone is included, and that you are making safe decisions!blue hands

Meet The 2014-15 JAM Brands Social Media Team!

Dustin Reed

DUSTIN REED- Social Media Coordinator 

Hello, I’m Dustin Reed. I have done allstar cheer for 15 years. I was part of the California Allstars large coed for 3 seasons (2011 – 2014). From those 3 seasons, I won MAJORS in 2013 and received 2 silver World Championship medals in 2012 and 2014. I am in my 3rd year of college at Grossmont College in San Diego, CA. My goal is to one day become a successful event planner.

MELISSA ANDREN- Social Media Coordinator

Hey everyone! My name is Melissa Andren and I am from East Brunswick, New Jersey. I am 18 yearsMelissa Andren old and a freshman at the Rutgers University Business School planning to major in Marketing. This is my first year as a college cheerleader on the All-Girl Squad at Rutgers. I was an all star cheerleader for 11 years, and spent the last five seasons on World Cup All Stars. I was a World Cup Shooting Star for several years and had the best experiences of my life. I retired from all star cheerleading as a National Champion at many of the MAJOR national championship events. I am also a Bronze and Silver Medalist at the Cheerleading Worlds. Something interesting about me was that I represented JAM Brands and the MAJORS at a cheerleading camp in Santiago, Chile this past summer and had to speak in Spanish to teach the camp! I look forward to this upcoming season and I know it is going to be one of the best this industry has ever seen!

Lauren DavisLAUREN DAVIS- Social Media Coordinator 

Hi, I’m Lauren! I have been involved in cheerleading for seven years, three of those years being at Heat Athletics in Sussex, WI. I have had the opportunity to travel around the country and compete in many National competitions. I was a member of the nationally ranked team, Wildfire, and served as captain my senior year in high school. My favorite part about cheerleading is all of the lifelong friendships I’ve created! During the summer, I teach cheerleading camps and classes. I’m a sophomore at Iowa State University and am majoring in Marketing.

Phyllicia LindoPHYLLICIA LINDO- Social Media Coordinator 

Hi everyone! My name is Phyllicia Lindo. I’m from Northern, KY and I’m currently finishing up my last year at the University of Kentucky. My cheerleading background includes 6 years of school and all-star cheerleading. I have prior experience coaching younger level all-star teams, as well as being invited to try-out for one of the best college cheerleading programs in the nation. My favorite part about cheerleading is when teammates start feeling like family.

Competition Jitters

With summer now officially over, the best time of the year is quickly underway. Yep, you guessed it, competition season! Time to lace up your cheer shoes, break in your new uniforms, and approach those glorious purple mats for the first time this year. Unfortunately, along with the excitement of competitions, comes the jitters. That awful nerve racking feeling you get when your palms start sweating and you suddenly can’t remember the routine. Luckily for you, there are 3 easy steps to get over those dreadful jitters.

  • First things first, breathe. As obvious as it may sound, taking long, deep breaths and slowing your heart rate down is the easiest way to help get competition jitters under control.
  • Next, go over the routine in your head from start to finish. Go over every count, motion, and facial that you plan on doing while competing.
  • Lastly, with cheerleading being a team sport, the best thing to do is bond with your team before stepping out on the mat. Whether it’s chanting, team pep talks or praying, do whatever works for you and your team.

No other time of the year compares to competition season. Don’t let jitters ruin one of the best experiences you’ll ever have. Don’t forget these 3 easy steps and you’ll go from jitters to rocking your routine out like a professional!ef45b27a6e0acae689604cb8953df4c4