Team Emma – We Got This

March 27, 2015  |  Life Beyond Cheer  |  No Comments

In January Emma was diagnosed with leukemia, but her teammates have been behind her every step of the way. Local cheerleaders in the area have teamed up with Emma’s family and the community to host a cheer-a-thon to raise money for hospital bills and travel expenses. With the spirited name Team Emma – We Got This, girls of all ages will learn different cheerleading stunts, jumps and dances to be performed in the Batavian High School gymnasium.

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#DearMe

March 12, 2015  |  Life Beyond Cheer  |  No Comments

Did you know that this past Sunday (March 8) was International Women’s Day? To celebrate, YouTube launched #DearMe, a campaign urging women to share advice they would give to their younger selves. In honor of #DearMe and International Women’s Day, here’s a letter to America’s cheerleaders.

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Adult Cheer Squad Supports Seattle

February 25, 2015  |  Cheers for Charity  |  No Comments

Everyone needs cheerleaders sometimes, and in Seattle, there's now a squad they can call upon. Cheer Seattle is a team of “adult cheerleading mercenaries,” as TV station KING put it. They are a non-profit squad of real estate agents, doctors and others from all walks of life, and they cheer and stunt to raise spirit and money for charitable organizations.

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Every Girl Is a Champion

February 17, 2015  |  On the Stage  |  1 Comment

Competition cheerleading is in a category all by itself. There is nothing like the feeling of competing at the largest state and national competitions with fans cheering for you to hit the perfect routine. More school teams today are taking a leap beyond football and basketball games to the competition mat. With this challenge, teams are practicing extra hours and becoming closer than ever. One school in Denver, Colorado proved that a team is more than a team – it’s a family.

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Random Act of Kindness Week

February 11, 2015  |  Life Beyond Cheer  |  No Comments

Did you know that February 9th through the 15th marks Random Acts of Kindness week? It’s true! Picture an entire week dedicated to compassion, thoughtfulness, and spirt-building. Sounds like a perfect fit for cheerleaders.

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More than Teammates

February 2, 2015  |  Life Beyond Cheer  |  No Comments

Teammates. They become your friends and your family. It’s an unbreakable bond that for some leaves a lasting impression for the rest of their lives. In Kolbie Davis’s words, "They're the best friends in the whole world. I love them."

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Spirit for Social Work

January 14, 2015  |  Life Beyond Cheer  |  No Comments

On top of her rigorous cheer schedule, Caitlin applies that same spirit and dedication to her coursework. She says she knew since middle school that she wanted to be in a “helping profession,” and the social work classes at Rutgers made her certain of that decision. Caitlin has reached the national level in that area as well – she was recently inducted into the Rutgers chapter of Phi Alpha Honor Society, a national honor society for social work students.

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Sharing Holiday Cheer

December 11, 2014  |  Life Beyond Cheer  |  No Comments

The holiday season is upon us! This time of year is always so exciting with parties, gift giving and festivities. It’s easy to get caught up in the fun and forget about how you can impact the lives of others. The University of Mississippi and the University of West Alabama, however, have found inspiring ways to give back in the midst of all the excitement.

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Bright Smile, Bright Inspiration

December 3, 2014  |  Life Beyond Cheer  |  No Comments

Thirteen-year-old Chelsey Morales has a smile that lights up everything around her – a useful tool for a cheerleader. That smile, and Chelsey’s determined spirit, inspire all those around her, including her teammates and fans of the Groesbeck Goats football team.

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Who’s Got Your Back? Lessons from My Appearance on Dr. Oz

November 20, 2014  |  On the Stage  |  3 Comments

Last week, I was given an unexpected and incredible opportunity. A producer from the Dr. Oz show called to tell me that they were interested in featuring The Sparkle Effect in an upcoming episode. I responded with an enthusiastic “Yes!” But then, I began to wonder why a talk show that focuses on health and medical issues wanted to profile a non-profit organization focused on creating cheerleading teams that include students with disabilities.

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