Frequently Asked Questions:
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), 1/2 (E comp), 3/4 (D), 5/6 (C), 7/8 (A). In 2019 we will likely break up K-2 into two teams – JVE and E. The JVE team will be primarily Kindergarten and first (that aren't competing) and the E team, first and second grade. All will depend on how many kids sign up and the number of coaches we have.
Teams are determined by how many returning trained coaches are available for each age group. If we don't have enough coaches, we have larger groups at games.
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: Practices usually start the second Tuesday of August. They are usually three nights a week until school starts. It is important to go to as many as possible. Many cheerleaders 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 5:30 – 8:00/8:30 – younger age groups leave a little earlier than other age groups. During summer practices, they learn all the game-day cheers, jumps, stunts, the halftime routine dance/routine, and much more.
Question: What should girls wear to summer practices?
Answer: Girls should wear practice attire (white/black/royal blue tank or tee and black/royal blue shorts) their hair 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. They are the most appropriate and safest for your child.
For the 2019 season we will be offering a camp/practice wear package for all cheerleaders. More information will be provided by email in late May.
Question: Are practices/games ever canceled 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 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. We try to charge as little as possible to make it work for every type of financial situation.
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 30 girls on a team per CAYFL rules although a team that large is not ideal. The more kids on a team, the longer it takes to get a routine together.
Question: My daughter is entering kindergarten. Will she be able to compete?
Answer: At this time, Kindergartners are not allowed to compete per league rules. Depending on how many sign up and how many parent coaches we have, there may be an opportunity to compete at the CAYFL competition (only).
Question: How often do competition teams practice and what is the schedule?
Answer: For the most part, our teams practice two nights a week in September and then increase to three nights a week starting in October. Sometimes there is a need for a 4th night if there is an injury or other reason why a team would need to rework their routine. A 4th night 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/rockclimbing too…?
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 older teams C & A can practice until as late at 8:30/9:00. Most of the free space we get is unfortunately 7:00-9:00. 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 other 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: Because of safety and the commitment of all the members of the team, we do no 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. Talk to a board member if you have further questions about this.
Question: How many competitions are there? What if my daughter misses one?
Answer: Attendance is MANDATORY for every competition. 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 three competitions which are listed on the events page of our website once their date is released.
Question: I'd like to help out as a 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 all AACCA Certified, CPR & Basic First Aid Certified and attend yearly UCA run training in addition to Cheer Coach training through a local all star gym. They also must attend monthly planning meetings and 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 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.