Competitive Cheerleading has come a long way since it emerged in the 1980’s. Athletes as young as four sport flashy uniforms covered in Swarovski crystals and perform routines that are so physically advanced, it’s almost unbelievable. Seeing what the sport has become throughout the decades, it is hard to believe that cheerleading started as an all-male activity.

Cheerleading began as an all-male activity

In 1877, Princeton University had a customized “Princeton cheer” (which is now called the “Locomotive”) that students and athletes would shout during football games; 21 years later, cheerleading was officially established.

Now, cheerleading has evolved into a sport so challenging that it is surprising that advanced biochemical genetic manipulation is not required.

D2 Summit is considered the Super Bowl of competitive cheerleading

D2 Summit, founded by Varsity All-Star, is an annual competition held in Orlando, Florida. It originated from the National Small Program Association, NSPA, which is an organization that helps small gyms grow their business while also helping them become more competitive. D2, which refers to Division II, was created exclusively for the gyms that had less than 125 teams.

The D2 Summit is held at Disney's ESPN Wide World of Sports, where thousands of cheerleading squads, coaches, parents, and supporters gather to watch athletes compete for the coveted 1st place title in their division.

In order to compete, squads must receive bids, which are earned based on performance throughout their regular competition season. Bids are tough to earn, and the teams who do receive one do not take such a high honor for granted.

Kyle Black, a former collegiate cheerleader, is a professional cheerleading coach at TKO Cheer in Dawsonville, GA.

Having competed at Summit, he understands the dedication and hard work that is required to earn a bid.

I had the opportunity to ask Coach Black what it meant to him to see his teams earn the opportunity to compete at Summit. He replied, "Being able to have the privilege to represent every full year team within our program this year at D2 Summit is such an accomplishment; for us, it's the ultimate reward for working and training so hard all season.

As a small gym, we're standing out amongst the “Big Dogs” here in our area, and I truly couldn't be more proud of our athletes and staff who have made this all happen."

Parents and athletes are grateful to have Coach Black and the TKO staff.

Live streaming of Summit and D2 Summit events will be available on Varsity's website, for those who are curious to see how amazingly talented the athletes are.