National Cheerleaders Association

The National Cheerleaders Association (NCA) was established as a way to bring cheerleaders together to learn new skills. From 1949 on the NCA held summer camps, and is credited with the invention of the herkie jump, the pom pom and being the first uniform manufacturer.

History

The NCA was founded in 1948 by the "Grandfather" of cheerleading, Lawrence "Herkie" Herkimer, a former member of the Spirit Squad at Southern Methodist University. The NCA is the first organization to hold cheer camps with the purpose of bringing cheerleaders together to learn new skills under qualified instructors and compete against other schools in dance, jumps, tumbling and stunting. The first camp was held in 1949 at Sam Houston State University with only 52 girls in attendance. The camp was so popular, that the next year attendance shot to 350. Summer Camps were also established at SMU and across the United States with Cheer and Tumbling Classes led by some of the most outstand Collegiate Cheerleaders in the United States.

In 1961, the company was incorporated.

NCA today

Today the NCA still hosts summer camps as a way to bring new skills to teams in a safe controlled environment. Now, they also host competitions for school and All-star teams, from low level regionals such as Classic Championships to the NCA nationals for school cheerleaders and the NCA All-Star Nationals for All-Star cheerleaders, which are two of the most prestigious competitions in the country. NCA is part of Varsity Brands. One of the most prominent NCA events are the College National Championships which are held in Daytona Beach Florida on the Band Shell and are televised nationally on Daytona Beach every April.

NCA has granted adolescent men and women the opportunity to showcase their gymnastic based abilities on a national and international level, and the number of its participants has exponentially increased every year for nearly over a decade. At the 2018 NCA Dallas National Championship alone 23,655 athletes from over 39 states and 9 countries, gathered together to participate in one of the most premier competitions of the cheerleading community. It is through various events similar to Dallas, that NCA challenges the societal ideal that cheerleading is a feminine sport that does not require athletic abilities. NCA is to be considered by many, as a strong community activist especially in relation to non-profit organizations that advocate for the health benefits of children. The growth of NCA has inspired many upcoming cheerleading programs, to strive for a level of excellence that has allowed it to achieve as much as the company has over the past 70 years.

3. "National Cheerleaders Association" Dallas NewS. Retrieved March 2018

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