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Columns, Culture & Lifestyle, News

Cheerleading Is a Sport

By By Estela Camacho

If you ever want to get a rise out of a cheerleader, just ask if cheerleading is a real sport. There is nothing more that gets these athletes fired up than the never-ending debate about whether cheerleading is indeed a sport. There are cheer programs that are available for boys and girls as young as 5 years old. The Danbury Athletic Youth Organization (DAYO) provides a cheerleading program that both girls and boys can participate in. The organization offers competitive teams and a special-needs spirit team. Participants do not have to try out to be part any of the teams. As they become older and acquire competitive skills, they can continue in a youth program or try out for the Police Athletic League (PAL) Jr. Hatters Team or an All Star Team. Since a majority of the cheerleaders want to continue cheering in high school, their level of skills must be outstanding, and their level of commitment and dedication increases dramatically, with academics also prioritized. While the main purpose of youth cheer and high school cheer is to support the athletic teams, the competition level leaves no time for relaxation. From sideline cheers to learning choreography, stunts and tumbling, these athletes take competition seriously beyond a traditional spirit program, leaving many of us with our mouths open and gasping for air.

In the youth cheer programs, DAYO sent their Danbury Trojans Pee Wee Team to Nationals in Orlando, Florida, to compete against the best teams in Pop Warner. The Danbury Trojans Pee Wee Cheerleading Squad came in fourth place! While there are no tryouts for any of our cheerleaders, DAYO prides itself in providing a program committed to excellence, learning a lot about teamwork, commitment and dedication. Another level of excellence exists with our Danbury High School JV and Varsity Teams, landing a cheer routine that incorporates tumbling, dance, stunts and acrobatics, with each cheerleader just as important as the others in the team.

FCIAC All Girl and Grand Champs

CIAC Class LL State champions

Ruden Report Team of the Week

3 All FCIAC Athletes

4 All State Athletes

New England Regional Cheerleading Championship Division 1- 1st Runner Up

These Athletes not only rock the mat, but also excel in their community service:

Women’s Center Walk against Domestic Violence

Help our Military Heroes awareness and collection

Breast Cancer Awareness game (Field Hockey)

Head Varsity Cheer Coach, Joann Tatarzycki explained: “Becoming a member of the Danbury High School cheerleading team is no easy feat! Cheerleading is a two-season sport, which runs from August through March, but cheerleaders are preparing year round for the challenges. In addition to being on the sidelines cheering for football and basketball, the team is conditioning and preparing for its own competition season, which entails performing a two-minute and 30-second routine full of stunting, tumbling, dance, jumps and difficult choreography. Cheerleaders must balance academics, family and their team, which is not always easy. They need to be focused and organized and need a good work ethic. Their skills keep increasing in difficulty year after year, safety is a priority and cheerleaders must be conditioned and in peak physical shape to safely perform those skills. It takes a lot of preparation and sacrifice to be a cheerleader at DHS, but the end result is well-rounded strong individuals who know how to work as a team!”

Cheerleaders are athletes; there is definitely no question regarding that, nor should this be debated. They all strive to ensure a competitive turn on the mat at the Cheerleading Worlds in Florida, along with numerous colleges and universities from all over the world. I personally can’t wait to see one of our Danbury teams at Worlds. Congratulations to our Danbury High School Cheerleading team on their accomplishments!!

Follow Danbury Cheerleading on Facebook, Danbury Cheer on Instagram and Danbury Cheer@DHS_Cheer on Twitter. Follow DAYO Trojans Cheerleading on Facebook.

For additional information, please call Estela Camacho at 203-530-2457 or email her at You can also learn more about the organization at, on Facebook (Danbury Athletic Youth Organization) or Twitter (@DAYOinfosports), or read about us in Tribuna Newspaper.


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September 12, 2019

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