The Complete Guide to Starting Cheerleading at an Appropriate Age
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The Complete Guide to Starting Cheerleading at an Appropriate Age

Cheerleading is an athletic activity that consists of a person who performs a series of jumps, chants, and motions with the aim to lead the audience to cheer, It’s often done at a sporting event and is one of the most social and exciting activities for kids to get involved in! There’s a lot to consider when it comes to whether your child is ready to join a cheer team. One of the most popular concerns is age. Is your child old enough and what options do they really have? This article will give you all the information you need to decide if your child is at the best age to start cheerleading.


What is the Best Age for Starting Cheerleading?

There is no specific age to start cheerleading. It is up to the child and the parents to decide when they are ready. However, the recommended age is no earlier than 8 if they plan to get involved in stunts. There are many benefits of starting cheerleading at a young age, such as developing better coordination, self-confidence, and body awareness. However, some kids need more time to get acclimated to the sport. 

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The Importance of Learning the Ropes Early on

Cheerleading is a sport that requires a lot of physical strength and agility. This is why it is important to start kids in cheerleading when they are young, but physically ready. They will get the hang of the moves, learn how to tumble and develop the physical strength needed for the sport.

However, cheerleading isn't just about tumbling and cheering - it's also about leadership skills, teamwork and discipline. These skills are vital for future success in the sport and even in their day to day lives. They’ll learn how to speak up when they reach their limit, when they’re afraid, and when they have suggestions. Learning the ropes early on can help them develop social skills and physical attributes to better them in their life later on.

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What Happens if I Start my Child in Cheerleading Too Early?

Fun fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that children wait until they are in elementary school before joining a team. This is because elementary school age is the best age to start cheerleading due to having a lower risk of injury, and the skills needed for cheerleading can be developed more fully at this age. When you enroll your child in the sport too young, you run the risk of them not being able to progress as they would if they waited until they are at least 8 years old.

Cheerleading is a sport that requires you to be physically active, social, and full of energy and “pep”! Sometimes, kids at a young age just can’t focus well enough to participate. This lack of focus can lead to significant injury. Additionally, if your child isn’t quite social enough yet and you enroll them in the sport, you may actually end up deterring them from wanting to continue. You have to follow their lead for this one!

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How Old do You Have to be to Join a Competitive Youth Team?

Competitive youth cheerleading teams are a great way to get involved in sports and meet new people. However, the requirements for joining a competitive team can vary from school to school. Some schools require an elitist drive and competitiveness in one's school work, while other schools value natural talent. Many students feel that the effort it takes to compete in athletics can be rewarding; some even say that the rewards are worth it. This is because with practice, dedication, and hard work comes success.

There is no age limit to joining a competitive cheerleading team. However, the majority of teams don’t start until the 8th grade, or around age 13. This is just before high school and is a great way get involved in a high impact sport after school.

How Old is Too Old to Start Cheerleading?

There is no age limit for cheerleading so technically you can start cheering at any age! The minimum age requirement to be a cheerleader for most school’s is 6 years old, but the best age to start cheerleading is at least the age of 8. However, there really isn’t much of a cap on this. If you’ve never been a cheerleader and you find yourself in high school just dying to be part of a team, you can try out! However, there are a few things to keep in mind.

The older you get, the more competitive and physically demanding cheerleading is. There is a lot expected of you beyond memorizing the cheers and dances. You’re expected to be flexible, perform stunts, be capable of physically supporting your fellow cheerleaders, and so much more. This isn’t being said to deter you, cheerleading is a blast and if you want to, you should pursue it! If you have no background in gymnastics though, you might want to consider starting there and then moving up to the team!

Preparing for the Future: Top Cheerleading Competitions in 2024 for Your Aspiring Cheerleader


  1. NCA All-Star National Championship (March 1–3, 2024) - Dallas, Texas
    The NCA All-Star National Championship is a premier event that showcases some of the best all-star cheerleaders vying for a bid to the prestigious Cheerleading Worlds, with full-paid and at-large bids awarded. A perfect showcase for all ages where cheerleading starts to flourish.

  2. The Cheerleading Worlds (April 26–29, 2024) - Orlando, Florida
    Known as the pinnacle of all cheerleading competitions, The Cheerleading Worlds brings together elite cheerleaders from around the globe, demonstrating extraordinary talent in intense and thrilling performances that cater to the audience from any age group.

  3. 2024 UCA All Star National Championship - Walt Disney World Resort
    This family-friendly competition celebrates young athletes in various categories, including tiny, mini, youth, prep, and novice. A fantastic event to inspire aspiring cheerleaders as they witness the talent and dedication of their peers.

  4. Allstar World Championship (April 18–21, 2024)
    An intense and exciting event where cheerleading teams from around the world come to compete for the coveted Allstar World Championship title. This event is a definite must-watch regardless of the age you started cheerleading.

  5. 2024 America's Cheerleading Cup Championship
    A competition open to all school and rec teams, with no qualifying requirements. The America's Cheerleading Cup Championship is an excellent opportunity for cheerleaders at all skill levels and ages to participate and showcase their passion for the sport.

  6. The College Classic 2024
    Witness the best college dance teams battle it out as they compete in the preliminaries for a chance to participate in the final showdown. The Battle Cup represents the ultimate display of athleticism, teamwork, and school spirit, continuing the cheerleading tradition for all ages.

  7. Arnold Sports Festival 2024 - Greater Columbus Convention Center and Ohio Expo Center
    A multi-disciplinary event that features a cheerleading competition alongside other sports festivals, attracting athletes and cheerleading enthusiasts of all ages and skill levels.

Adding this list to your blog post will provide your readers with the latest information on the top cheerleading competitions in 2024. It will illustrate how cheerleading is a life-long sport that individuals can participate in and enjoy from a young age.

7 Businesses & Summer Camps you should consider if your child is interested in Cheerleading!


  • Ace Gymnastics Academy: Ace Gymnastics Academy boosts cheerleading skills with top-notch tumbling, flexibility, and strength training, enhancing performance and team spirit in a supportive community.
  • Alpha Omega Gymnastics: Alpha Omega boosts cheer careers with top-notch tumbling classes and a supportive environment, ideal for skill growth and team spirit building.
  • Coral Reef Gymnastics: Boost your child's cheer skills with Coral Reef's gymnastics strength, flexibility, and coordination training programs.
  • Flying Colors Trapeze: Flying Colors Trapeze boosts kids' agility and confidence, key for cheerleading growth and success.
  • Long Lake Camp For The Arts: Long Lake Camp nurtures talent, boosts confidence, and refines performance skills, crafting a foundation that propels young cheerleaders to new heights in their careers.
  • The Performing Arts Center / Temple Terrace Ballet: Temple Terrace Ballet boosts cheer skills with dance precision and artistic strength, nurturing confidence and teamwork in a family-like setting.
  • Camp Telaphiba: Camp Telaphiba boosts cheer skills through dance, enhancing flexibility, rhythm, and teamwork, vital for cheerleading success. 🎉✨


Cheerleading is a sport that is enjoyed by people of all ages. A person can start cheerleading at any age, but it is recommended to start when they are in elementary school. This is the best age to start cheerleading as their bodies are still growing, they adapt quicker to the flexibility requirements, and they’re often more eager to be active! However, you can start cheering at any age, so don’t be afraid to get out there and try out for your local team!

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