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Cheer and Dance Overview

The Cheer & Dance Program offers teams a wide range of opportunity for young athletes at all skill levels: Novice, Intermediate and Advanced. Our regular season runs from August 1 to December 31and our extended season ends July 31.

Pop Warner has established one set of spirit rules along with JAMZ, the Pop Warner Education Development Partner and the original developer of the Youth Cheer and Dance Alliance (YCADA).  

Together with YCADA, Pop Warner is able to provide online educational courses for its coaches, administrators and judges on team skill levels for Cheer Teams (PW 1, 2, 3 & 4) and for Dance Teams (Pom Performance, Theme Dance & Hip Hop). Pop Warner also offers additional competition opportunities in Sideline Performance Cheer and Skill Games.

With continued education, the Pop Warner Coaching Staff provides basic instruction, training and conditioning for both football games and competition.

Teams participate on the sidelines at football games for home and away games through to the Pop Warner Super Bowl. In addition to Game Day, teams participate in qualifying spirit competitions (League and Region) through to a Pop Warner National Championship.

The Pop Warner National Cheer and Dance Championships (started in 1988) are now held in December located in ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Complex in Kissimmee, Florida. 

For more information email: [email protected]


Team placement is based your athlete's age on July 31, 2023 and skill level. Team placement will ultimately be at the discretion of the Cheer Director. 

Jr. Tiny Mites - ages 3-4
Tiny Mites - ages 5-6-7 
Mitey-Mite - ages 7-8-9
Jr Pee Wee - ages 8-9-10-11 
Pee Wee - ages 9-10-11-12 
Junior Varsity - ages 10-11-12-13
Varsity - ages 12-13-14-15-16 
Bantum - ages 14-15-16-17

Our Fall Cheer program includes mandatory participation in sideline cheer at all home football games and most away games. Football games are held on Saturdays and run from September through early November.

Competition season runs from late October through early December.
ALL teams are competitive except Jr. Tiny Mite.
Cheerleaders compete at local Cheer Jam competition with hopes of advancing to Regionals (Thanksgiving weekend in Orlando) and then moving on to Nationals in Orlando first week of December. If you can not be available Thanksgiving weekend, please let your head coach know at the BEGINNING of the season.
Our older teams (Mighty-Mite and up) may compete in 1 or 2 local competitions before Cheer Jam for practice.

For information registration and fees, see our Registration page.

Cheerleading Safety

Safety First! 

Below are some tips compiled by the National Athletic Trainers’ Association that help reduce cheerleader injuries at all levels:

  1. Proper Conditioning:  Each child will learn proper conditioning to physically prepare and maintain your body’s strength, flexibility, and stamina for stunting and tumbling.   Strengthen your core muscles (abdominal and lower back muscles) along with the upper and lower body and include aerobic (running, jogging, cycling, swimming) and anaerobic (wind sprints, circuit training) activities. 
  2. Exercise Reminders:  Warm up, stretch and cool down for every practice or competition and be sure to rest.
  3. Proper Equipment:  All associations will follow proper procedures for practice on mats or padded flooring until your routines are perfected.  Make sure the mats are adequately sized and sufficient for the activities you’re performing.
  4. Spotting:  Each group will have trained spotters present and engaged at all times.
  5. Knowledgeable Coaches:  Coaches are certified in safety, first aid, CPR and AED use.
  6. No Horseplay:  Focus at all times during stunting and tumbling activities.
  7. Communication:  Coaches review safety precautions, rules and regulations with the squad on a regular basis, and that they establish and implement an emergency action plan.
  8. Safety Guidelines:  Our coaches are educated with the latest Pop Warner Rules Book, YCADA (Youth Cheer and Dance Alliance) safety guidelines and participate in the ASEP (American Sport Education Program) Coaches Online Education Training for basics in cheerleading principles;
  9. Know Your Limits:  Each participant is evaluated on their skill levels. The squad is then assigned a level according to their ability level. Coaches are instructed not to attempt advanced level gymnastic or stunting skills before mastering less advanced skills.  
  10. Treatment of Injuries:  Promptly attend to any injuries you sustain. Each squad will have a CPR/FIRST AID trainer at all practices and games.


A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury, or TBI, caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head that can change the way your brain normally works. Concussions can also occur from a fall or a blow to the body that causes the head and brain to move quickly back and forth.

Health care professionals may describe a concussion as a “mild” brain injury because concussions are usually not life-threatening. Even so, their effects can be serious.


Pop Warner rules require that “All practices must be attended by one person holding a Red Cross Community CPR and a First Aid certification OR National Center for Sports Safety PREPARE Certificate of Completion, or equivalent, if not by an EMT or volunteer physician.”

PREPARE Level 1 Sports Safety eLearning Course from the National Center for Sports Safety (NCSS) is offered to Pop Warner Coaches for $32.40 by entering promo code POPWARNER2017during online registration at Have 10 or more coaches who need to take the course? Contact the Center for a group rate: [email protected] or 205- 329-7535. PREPARE is an online user friendly sports safety course that covers a wide-range of sports-related injuries and illnesses as well as preventative measures. 

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