Mike Uncorked: VALLEY CHEER ATHLETICS: Give me a “V”; Give me a “C”!
By Mike Butler
I have a bit of a confession to make. Most of you know that I love to dance and sing and perform, and it’s true I am not a great singer or a skilled dancer or a trained performer, but I am not shy in front of a crowd and I always give 110% when I perform (either at work or on stage)! When I was in high school there wasn’t a big following with Cheerleading or a Cheer Squad for sporting events. Everyone took pots and pans and their loud voices and we just cheered as a group, but my confession, everyone, is that I’ve always wanted to take part in a real professional cheerleading routine with the whole pyramid, pom poms, streamers, flashy outfit and everything. However, at the age if 38, I can barely climb to the top of the stairs in my apartment let alone attempt to get to the top of a cheerleading pyramid! If you know someone with any interest in cheerleading then read this article and seek out the Valley Cheer Athletics Organization!
Valley Cheer Athletics (VCA) is a cheer and tumble platform located in the Valley offering programs in All Star competitive cheer, Prep Cheer Gymnastics, Tumbling, and Recreation classes in Cheer, Dance, and so much more. VCA hosts teams for all ages, starting as young as 18 months! (Can you believe that?) They have athletes from all over the Valley. The VCA main gym is located at 440 Main Street in Kentville in the old church space where the new library is situated, so you can cheer for a bit and then grab a good book to relax with. The VCA started in Berwick ten years ago and they’ve grown so much over the years. Classes are currently run in Greenwood and Berwick. Demand is so high that the organization is now working on adding locations in New Minas and Wolfville. Megan Shepard, director of the VCA, was nice enough to share the ups and downs of the business and she’s thrilled to be part of the 10-year celebration of Valley Cheer. She’s very excited about the buzz the VCA has generated over the years for Cheer Sport.
Back in the day, I always thought cheerleading was nothing more than short shorts, big white smiles, high kicks, and clapping, but, much like gymnastics, ballet, and lawn bowling, where many think there’s no sport involved, Cheerleading is as sport-oriented as basketball or football. It not only fosters skill progression but also provides children with life lessons, teaches teamwork and dedication, and provides a space where friends become family. The team atmosphere is so important to cheerleading, and VCA is often told how the gym has become a second home to their participants.
Valley Cheer Athletics is celebrating their 10th year in operation – a decade providing programs across the Valley – which is a huge accomplishment! They have recently been going through the steps of changing from a business to a non-profit youth organization to better serve the children of the local communities. Megan states, “I am hoping to find ways to promote our non-profit program, and find out about opportunities of featuring our story and the celebration of our 10th anniversary as we focus on keeping local youth involved in, not only the sport of cheerleading, but organized sport and physical activity as a whole.”