Daytona Beach – Yes, cheerleaders – and dance teams – will be everywhere on the world’s most famous beach this week.
It is the annual college cheer and dance national championship sponsored by the National Cheerleaders Association and the National Dance Alliance.
If athletic acrobatic choreography with an emphasis on soul is your thing, it’ll be on display in wall-to-wall daily demonstrations Thursday-Saturday at the Daytona Beach Bandshell and Ocean Center in Daytona Beach.
Cheerleaders and dance teams gather on the grass around the Ocean Center for the 2022 National Cheerleaders Association and National Dance Alliance Collegiate National Championships in Daytona Beach. About 9,000 competitors are expected at this year’s event for performances April 6-8 at the Bandshell and Ocean Center in Daytona Beach.
Here’s what you need to know:
When is the event?
The College Cheer & Dance National Championships in Daytona Beach officially runs Wednesday-Saturday (April 5-8). Performances and competition will take place daily Thursday-Saturday at the Daytona Beach Bandshell and Ocean Center.
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cheer performances in the bandshell running from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursdays; and Friday from 9 a.m. to 6:20 p.m. There will also be cheer and dance performances in the bandshell on Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.
A cheerleader is tossed in the air as she practices on the grass around the Ocean Center at the 2022 National Cheerleaders Association and National Dance Alliance Collegiate National Championships in Daytona Beach. The event returns this week, April 6-8, with performances at the Bandshell and Ocean Center.
At the Ocean Center, cheer demonstrations will take place Thursday from 8 a.m. to 8:50 p.m.; and Friday from 8 a.m. to 9:07 p.m. Additionally, the Ocean Center will also host dance team performances on Thursdays from 8:30 a.m. to 8:41 p.m.; and on Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 8:21 p.m.
Visit the event’s website at varsity.com for a complete schedule.
Is the event open to the public?
Yes, this year’s event is expected to turn out to be a huge crowd of an estimated 20,000 fans cheering for cheerleaders and dancers.
Daily admission is $30 for Thursday and Friday; $20 (fees not included) online for Saturday at Eventbrite.com. Three-day passes are also available for $70, plus fees at Eventbrite.com.
Are big name schools participating?
Yes, the roster of cheer teams includes such major college programs as the University of Michigan, Clemson University, New Mexico State University, Oklahoma State University, Texas Tech University, University of South Carolina, among others.
In Advanced Large Coed Division IA, which is considered the most prestigious level of competition, back-to-back champion Oklahoma State University will attempt a three-peat.
The Oklahoma State team again faces a challenge from rival Texas Tech University, which finished second in the 2022 event behind OSU, which finished only tenth.
How long has the event been associated with Daytona Beach?
The National Cheerleaders Association is marking its 27th year of hosting its championships in Daytona Beach. Bill Boggs, the organization’s senior vice president, said it is a destination that has become synonymous with an event that has been together for more than 40 years.
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“We think Daytona Beach is the perfect setting,” Boggs said. “We love the weather there, love the shops and the restaurants. Obviously, the main priority is to compete, but we always tried to make the last day a fun day for them to enjoy the beach.
This article originally appeared on The Daytona Beach News-Journal: College cheerleaders take over Daytona: Championships at Ocean Center