When Jam’s Athletics owner Elizabeth Marsh and her teams arrived at the Cheer Nation Nationals, they were looking forward to the opportunity to compete; in fact, one of the Jam’s Athletics teams was preparing for their first-ever performance. Instead, they got a heartbreaking surprise. “The day of the competition, we came in, and there were no mats, pretty much nothing set up,” says Marsh, who was approached by a rep for event organizer Halee Yates to see if they could borrow Jam’s Athletics mats and spring floor at the last minute. This was not only an unusual request from an EP, but a tall order.
When JAM Brands co-founder Dan Kessler tried cheerleading for the first time at the University of Louisville after two years of playing collegiate soccer, his friends told him he was a natural at stunting. But he still had to learn the techniques from the ground up: a toss hands, then a toss hands extension, then a liberty, then a top hand. “[Stunting] was a new athletic skill that I had to conquer and try to perfect,” he says. “That addiction of getting better kept me going to practice and working.”
With all of the developments in our ever-evolving industry, it can be hard to keep up. For handy reference, we’ve compiled a thorough timeline of how some of today’s hottest trends and innovations came about (and the companies that pioneered them). But before it publishes this Wednesday, take our quiz below to find out how much you know—then check out the answers in our sneak preview!
As the all-star cheerleading industry has blossomed, an array of organizations has also sprung onto the cheer scene—resulting in a virtual alphabet soup of acronyms from ASGA to NCSSE to USASF. Learn more about each group and how to decipher your options as a cheer professional with this handy-dandy slide show!