<<We reserve the right to change info below to comply with local and state guidelines.>>
Question: How are the age groups broken up? What team will my child be on?
Answer: This varies by year and how many kids sign up. Usually the teams are K-2 (JVE/E), 3/4 (D), 5/6 (C), 7/8 (A). Teams are determined by how many returning trained coaches are available for each age group.
Question: What is the commitment to be a game-day/recreation cheerleader?
Answer: Game day cheerleaders practice all summer with the rest of their age group. This is ideal for the youngest and newest of cheerleaders. Once school starts, they practice with the rest of their team for one hour before every game and then cheer for the entire game. They also attend the end of year banquet.
Question: When do summer practices start?
Answer: This season practice will start Thursday August 4th for all squads. They are three nights a week (Tues/Wed/Thurs) until school starts. It is important to go to as many as possible. If your goal is to compete, then you should go to ALL practices in the summer. When there are missing kids coaches have to change each stunt group and routine to accommodate as well as take time away from the next practice to teach the cheerleader what they missed. They move fast, so kids can easily fall behind if they miss something.
Question: What times are the summer practices?
Answer: Practices typically run between 5:30 – 8:00, younger age groups leave earlier than other age groups. The oldest group may stay later depending on the progression of their skills and attendance. During summer practices, they learn all the game-day cheers, jumps, stunts, finish the halftime routine dance/routine learned at camp, practice tumbling, and much more.
Question: What should girls wear to summer practices?
Answer: Girls should wear practice attire (black/royal blue tank or tee and black shorts) All hair should be up out of their face preferably in a cheer bow, no earrings or any jewelry, nails cut short, bring a water bottle, bug spray on and a smile. You should also wear your new cheering sneakers if they have come in (in 2021 & 2022 there have been delays in production because of the global supply chain issue) . They are the most appropriate and safest for your child.
Question: Are practices/games ever cancelled for weather?
Answer: We only cancel if it is pouring rain, lightening or other severe weather event. Our Facebook page and your coach will let you know via TeamSnap if canceled. If we miss a practice in this instance, we will likely schedule another to make up for it. Games may be made up later in the season or even mid-week in some cases. The rule we typically follow is, if the football players can practice in the heat and rain (with all their equipment on), so can the cheerleaders.
Question: How much are the competition fees?
Answer: Each year, the fees vary depending on what donations or sponsorship's the DYFC was able to obtain earlier in the year. Usually they are around $150-$175 per cheerleader. The fees cover paid practice space, competition entrance fees, music, t-shirt, and several other items. We offer a calendar raffle fundraiser each year for girls to sell to raise their fees.
Question: How are the competition age groups broken up?
Answer: Based on the practice space available and qualified parent and student coaches, we try to limit it to one competing team for each age group 1/2 (E), 3/4 (D), 5/6 (C), 7/8 (A). We are allowed to compete 25-30 girls on a team per MYCA rules although a team that large is not encouraged. Starting next year (2023) the number will drop to 20-25 to be closer to high school rules. The more kids on a team, the longer it takes to get a routine together and perfected.
Question: How often do competition teams practice and what is the schedule?
Answer: For the most part, our teams practice twice a week in September and then increase to three times a week starting in October through early November. Sometimes there is a need for a 4th practice if there is an injury or other reason why a team would need to rework their routine. A 4th practice may also be added for the older teams and the week of a competition trying to finalize a routine or rework based on scores from a previous routine.
Question: What is your fall practice schedule? My daughter does dance/soccer/gymnastics/too…? Can you work the schedule around hers?
Answer: Unfortunately, we do not have the indoor practice schedule finalized until the first week of school. We know this is a problem for some. It is out of our control. If we get it any earlier, we will certainly send it out. Most E & D teams practice for 1.5-2.5 hours in between 5:00-8:00PM. The C & A can practice until as late at 8:30/9:00 pm. Unfortunately, most of the free space we get is 6:00-9:00pm. That is why it is important to be on time to every practice – the quicker they can start a practice, the earlier they can get out. No one likes to practice after 8:30 – we try to avoid it at all costs – sometimes there is no other option though.
Question: If my child is on the competition team where do they practice?
Answer: Practices take place at Danvers High School, HRMS Middle School, Danvers Indoor Sports, Essex Aggie Alumni Gym, and sometimes cheer gyms in the area. We rely on free practice space from several schools as well as rent space from several other locations – this is where the majority of your competition fees go. The final practice schedule is not released until the week school starts as that is when schools let us know what is available. Although we book paid space in advance, we have to see all the space to finalize what teams will go where. If we lose free space because of an unplanned school function or sporting event, teams must shuffle into paid space. Sometimes there are last minute changes to the schedule because of this.
Question: We are thinking about going away for a week in October. Can my daughter still compete?
Answer: No. Because of safety and the commitment of all the members of the team, we do not allow fall vacations. We have a short competition season so we strongly encourage all cheerleaders to make DYFC their priority during that time. Cheerleaders are only allowed to miss two competition practices. More than that becomes a problem for the coaches as well as the rest of the team. Cheerleading is a TEAM sport, if you are missing, your entire stunt group can’t go up and parts of the routine may suffer. For smaller teams, your team may have to postpone developing key parts of their routine until everyone is there. That will result in more practices added for everyone. Team. Sport.
Question: How many competitions are there? What if my daughter misses one?
Answer: Attendance is MANDATORY for every competition and practices the week prior to each. No exceptions. Sometimes there will be an injury and a cheerleader must sit out. In this case, depending on her role in the routine, the entire routine will need to be adjusted the week of the competition resulting in an extra practice for the entire team. There are usually three competitions which are listed on the events page of our website once their dates are released.
Question: I'd like to help out as a parent coach. What do I have to do?
Answer: Our program wouldn't be as successful as it is without the time and dedication of our parent volunteers. All our of our lead coaches coached 1-2 years as an asst and/or game day coach. They are USACheer Members, USA Cheer Safety certified, CPR & Basic First Aid Certified and attend yearly MYCA training in addition to Cheer Coach training through a local all star gym. They also must attend monthly planning meetings as well as a DYFC run parent coach training.
All total, they get about 10-15 hours of training each year. Many of our parent coaches were once cheerleaders or gymnasts but not all.
They are CORI'd annually, have backgroun checks conducted through USA Cheer, and several also have more extensive background checks through Girl Scouts and/or their employers. Almost all work full time - inside and outside the home.
If you think you would be a good fit, love working with kids and are willing to put in the time and energy, please reach out! We are always looking for more coaches.