Cheerleading Competitions

Cheerleading Competitions

Varsity created the first high level cheerleading competition in 1980, the National High School Cheerleading Championship, to reward cheerleaders for their work on the sidelines and to create a venue in which they could be recognized for their talents and abilities.   Since then, Varsity has produced thousands of competitive events for cheerleaders and dancers.

Varsity competitions, whether at the state, regional, or national level, are held to the highest standards. We pride ourselves in providing the overall best experience for participants, coaches, and parents.  Click here to find out more about Varsity Competitions!

UCA — Universal Cheerleaders Association

universal cheerleaders association

  • Founded in 1974 by Jeff Webb, UCA created the first actual national competition for cheerleaders, the National High School Cheerleading Championship (NHSCC), in 1980. Today, UCA holds over 50 Regional Qualifier events leading up to the National High School Cheerleading Championship, making it the most prestigious National Championship in the country. There are over 350 teams from 33 states who compete at the event.
  • UCA also administers the College Cheerleading National Championship (est. 1983) and the National All Star Cheerleading Championship (est. 1996) at the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.
  • Championships are broadcast worldwide on ESPN and ESPN2.
  • Based in Memphis, Tennessee.


NCA – National Cheerleaders Association

national cheerleaders association

  • Founded in 1948 by Lawrence “Herkie” Herkimer, NCA was the first organization to administer a competition for All-Star teams in 1987. Today, the NCA All-Star National Championship is the most prestigious of its kind with more than 450 teams competing.
  • Administers the NCA Senior and Junior High School National Championship (est. 1981) in Dallas, Texas.
  • Administers the NCA/NDA Collegiate Cheer and Dance Championship (est. 1981) in Daytona Beach, an event that is the largest of its kind, attracting more than 200 teams from 35 states.
  • NCA offers five competition models, allowing teams to choose the experience and price that is right for them – Nationals, U.S. Championships, Classics, Theme Park Championships and Spirit Championships.
  • Championships are broadcast nationwide on FSN.
  • Based in Dallas, Texas.


USA – United Spirit Association

united spirit association

  • USA was founded in 1950 by Robert Olmstead. USA administers five major different competition events catering to all age groups, experience and ability levels. These events include USA Junior Nationals (est. 1997 and is the only event strictly for junior high, middle schools and youth groups), USA All-Star Cheer and Dance Nationals (est. 1995), USA Dance/Drill Nationals (est. 1985), USA High School Spirit Nationals (est. 1985) and USA Collegiate Nationals (est. 1994). USA’s Nationals events take place on the west coast in Anaheim and Los Angeles, California.
  • USA conducts over 40 qualifying Regional and Classic competitions as stand alone events and/or qualifiers for some Nationals divisions. USA boasts high quality events that run on time at a price you can afford.
  • At USA, each competition season is preceded with a judges’ training to ensure that each team receives valuable and constructive comments both written and via audio critique.
  • Based in Cypress, California.


UDA — Universal Dance Association

universal dance association

  • Founded in 1980 by Jeff Webb and Kris Shepherd, UDA offers the widest variety of competition dates and locations throughout the US. UDA Competitions provide Dance Teams a positive atmosphere to perform and compete in while getting feedback on their performance from a professional panel of UDA judges.
  • Dance teams can compete in up to two categories for one registration fee. Teams can compete in the Jazz, Pom, Hip Hop or High Kick category.
  • UDA created the National Dance Team Championships (NDTC) in 1985. The NDTC is the largest dance team event of its kind. The NDTC takes place in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.
  • UDA also administers the College Dance Team National Championships for the top collegiate dance teams in the country. College Dance Teams can compete in the Dance or Hip Hop categories.
  • The College Dance Team National Championships and the National Dance Team Championships are both broadcast worldwide on ESPN and ESPN2.
  • Based in Memphis, Tennessee, UDA is the sister company of UCA


NDA — National Dance Alliance

national dance alliance

  • Founded in 1976 by Lawrence “Herkie” Herkimer, the NDA National Championship was first held in 1985 as the NCA Superstar Pom Pon/Songleaders National Championship. Today, the NDA National Championship for school dance teams is held at Hard Rock Live at Universal CityWalk in Orlando, Florida. The NDA All-Star National Championship is held in Dallas, Texas.
  • Dance teams receive two routines in their registration price, and may select from a variety of dance styles in which to compete.
  • At Nationals, dance teams receive a free copy of their performance on DVD with a verbal critique overlay.
  • NDA offers five competition models, allowing teams to choose the experience and price that is right for them – Nationals, U.S. Championships, Classics, Theme Park Championships and Spirit Championships.
  • Administers the NCA/NDA Collegiate Cheer and Dance Championship (est. 1981) in Daytona Beach, an event that attracts more than 200 teams from 35 states and is televised on CBS.
  • Based in Dallas, Texas, NDA is the sister company of NCA.


ACA – American Cheerleaders Association

american cheerleaders association

  • Founded in 1998 by Lance Wagers, ACA hosts their two-day ACA Cheer Nationals in Fort Worth, TX.
  • All teams perform twice and receive a division placement trophy.
  • Timing for this event allows all star teams to gain valuable competition experience prior to competing in other National events.
  • Based in Dallas, Texas.


Athletic Championships

athletic championships

  • Founded by Mike Martinez in 2002, Athletic Championship is the largest provider of two day cheer and dance national competitions.
  • All events are held within a five hour drive of all major cheerleading markets.
  • No-Risk registration process with no late registration fees, no division change fees, and no cancellation fees.
  • Participants get choice of gifts; Coaches receive retro track jacket and attend free!
  • Teams carry 1/3 of day one scores into the second day of competition to ultimately decide the winners.
  • Grand championship winners receive largest trophy in all star cheerleading and dance.
  • Based in Knoxville, Tennessee.


The American Championships

The American National Championships

  • Founded by Jim Thorp, American Championships offers three different types of competitions: Regional Events, State events, and National competitions.
  • Events feature high energy production, first class warm-up area featuring full size floors and double wide tumbling strips, elevated performance floor or elevated spectator seating at every location, state-of-the-art judging system featuring video replay, awards ceremonies featuring Olympic Style Awards stages, jackets for all champions, and gifts for all competitors and coaches.
  • Based in Gainesville, Florida.



All Star Challenge

all star challenge

  • Founded in 1999 by Don Collins, All Star Challenge events feature uniquely themed professional sets at each location.
  • Events open to all star teams only.
  • Innovative instant “TIVO” system that replays performances immediately for all judges.
  • “Super Divisions” combine the scores of teams of the same ability level and similar age level to create mini championships within the competition. These winners receive cash prizes.
  • Over 50 “Outstanding Achievement Awards” given in specialty areas at each competition.
  • Winners receive personalized National Championship gifts.
  • Based in Durham, North Carolina.


American Cheer Power

american cheerpower

  • Founded by Regina Symons in 1985, Cheer Power now offers over 30 championships nationwide for teams and individuals.
  • Created the National Small Gym Association to gain recognition of the importance of small gyms in all star cheerleading and dance.
  • Cheer Power administers three National Championships and Tournament of Champions in the north, south, east and west.
  • Through Cheer Power’s Sponsorship Program, one athlete per program is able to compete free at all events.
  • Based in Dickinson, Texas.


WSF- World Spirit Federation

world spirit federation

  • Founded by Scott Foster, WSF provides national competitions around the country.
  • WSF’s digital scoring system continues to set the standard for judging in our industry. This comprehensive, computerized scoring system is utilized at all events.
  • Based in Greenville, South Carolina.


Spirit Sports

spirit sports

  • Founded by James Speed and Shannon Smith, well-known cheerleading coaches, to provide a high-quality national championship experience at a reasonable price.
  • Two-day national championships across the country and one-day classics primarily in the South.
  • Based in Greer, South Carolina.



Spirit Xpress

spirit xpress

  • Founded in 1992 by Don Collins, Spirit Xpress provides one-day, regional competitions primarily in North Carolina.
  • Competitions are economically priced and offer one performance only.
  • Based in Durham, North Carolina.



Spirit Cheer

spirit cheer

  • Founded in 1998 by Mike Pare, Spirit Cheer has become known for producing exciting and fun cheerleading events around the country.
  • Innovative event production with the “Crazy Legs” stilt performers
  • Spirit Cheer offers something for all ages and abilities.
  • Spirit Cheer prides itself on creating cutting edge ideas for choreography and summer camps. Come enjoy the fun and excitement during the summer that is unique to Spirit Cheer.