Gym Spotlight | XS Worlds Gyms

Jersey All Stars

1. What was your initial thought when hearing that Worlds was opening the competition up to this new division?

I thought wow, not only is this going to boost my kids confidence at the Worlds level but this is going to inspire and put drive into a lot of teams throughout the cheer world. The end goal of making it to day 2 at The World Championships and globing seem to be a realistic dream for many NEW worlds teams.

2. What do you think the impact of this division will be on your program? On the cheer world?

I have a very talented group of 14 girls who impress me everyday. Knowing that their goal of placing well at Worlds is more reachable, they have a new found confidence in themselves that i’ve never seen before. Their whole attitude has changed and impacted our entire gym in such a positive way. All the younger athletes generally look up to the Worlds team so when their moral is up and they’re feeling great about their team and themselves it really sets a positive atmosphere for the gym to thrive and feed off of. The cheer world needed this division in so many ways. The small senior division never seems to stop growing so it was very discouraging for a lot of gyms, especially gyms like us with a very new Worlds program. This division will open a lot of doors for programs around the country and will keep level 5 athletes at their home gym.

3. How did your athletes react to the announcement of your gym becoming a part of this? If this is the first time your gym has the opportunity to compete at worlds, share that feeling.

The girls were thrilled! I was flooded with exciting text messages. This will be our 4th season competing in the Worlds Division and our 4th different division. International all girl level 5, Medium All Girl, Small Senior All Girl, and now Extra Small All girl and this is the first year we’ve gone into the season thinking we’ve got a shot at globing.

4. Talk to us about the hardest thing your gym has gone through, and how you’ve gotten where you are today!

I was only 18 years old when I started Jersey All Stars. To gain respect in the industry and not enter the Small Gym Category was the hardest thing I’ve ever experienced and I don’t regret it. We don’t run from competition, we face it head on and it taught us the tools we needed to compete and win against the “big guys.” We took our Small Senior Level 4 team to Cheersport for the first time in 2011 with a goal to place top
5. Not only did the girls win their division they were one of the top 6 highest scores of the entire competition. I will NEVER forget the moment we found out we were in first place. At the time we had no worlds team, this level 4 senior team was our highest team. When we heard the announcer start “…. in the small senior level 4 division” we screamed, we didn’t even hear them announce our name we were that excited. I will never forget seeing my kids cry out of pure happiness and I will never forget the feeling of “we did it.”

5. Tell us about the journey to come for your 2017-2018 season on the road to worlds.

Even though we are considered a large gym we have a small gym heart. We always practice like we are the underdogs trying to make a mark in this amazing sport of all star cheer. We haven’t reached the goal of globing at worlds so in a sense we still are that little gym reaching for the top. At the end of the day we want to remember the journey, hit our routine, and hope you enjoy the show!

Valley Elite All Stars

1. What was your initial thought when hearing that Worlds was opening the competition up to this new division?

We were very excited as we knew our Senior 5 would be a very small team this season.

2. What do you think the impact of this division will be on your program? On the cheer world?

It will definitely allow us to feel more competitive. Even though small teams have done well and are scored appropriately, it still is difficult to compete again teams that have 20 athletes.

3. How did your athletes react to the announcement of your gym becoming a part of this? If this is the first time your gym has the opportunity to compete at worlds, share that feeling.

Our athletes were very excited and thrilled as they feel they can compete against some of the best teams in the world BUT with the same number of athletes. Also, it not being open to the larger gyms definitely has helped our athletes feel more confident.

4. Talk to us about the hardest thing your gym has gone through, and how you’ve gotten where you are today!

The most difficult this VEA has gone through is the loss of many athletes to big gyms that have come into our area. We stayed strong in our belief systems, goals and visions. VEA is about the athlete, the families and all of them as a whole. It’s about the love of this sport and then endless life lessons we can help provide. With staying on that path, even with only 50 athletes this season.

5. Tell us about the journey to come for your 2017-2018 season on the road to worlds.

I try to teach my athletes that life is not always about the final destination, it is about the journey along the way, and this team has definitely been enjoying this journey together. Most of the team was together last year on our restricted team, some were one our junior 5 years before that, and even a few have been together since youth level 2. So this has been a long journey for us and for them to be able to reach some of their goals this season is going to be amazing to see!

6. Feel free to share any fun stories or info you’d like to share with the cheer community.

They love to play football! Sometimes at the beginning or end of practice we’ll either pick two teams, or go against another team in the gym and play two hand touch. It’s so fun to watch them get so pumped up and bring the competitiveness out of them. In addition to working hard at practice we like to have some fun, especially when they get a little frustrated with things. Fun things like that bring them so much closer together!