Spirit isn’t limited to a specific place. Neither are we.

For the first time ever, Varsity Spirit has created virtual, at-home training classes to keep your skills and spirits up from anywhere, anytime. Feel the energy of our live, instructor-led classes and transform your living room into a (virtual) game day atmosphere. Virtual Spring Training sessions will be offered at a 1:25 ratio, so you are able to receive personal feedback while interacting with other cheerleaders and dancers from across the country – just like you would at summer camp.

Here’s how it works: 

  • Individuals can search for a class below and sign up
  • The day of your class, you’ll receive an email with a unique Zoom link
  • Log in, meet your instructor and classmates and have fun!

For more than 45 years, Varsity Spirit has been the innovative global leader in cheerleading and dance – and we won’t stop now. As we face these uncertain times, we’re as committed as ever to providing memorable experiences to young people, while always keeping safety as our number one priority.

For FAQ’s and Zoom Best Practices, click here. For additional questions, please contact Michele Shetzer: mshetzer@varsity.com

Class Offerings

5/26: Cheerleading 101 with Essence & Christian - UCA

Cheerleading 101: Whether you’re prepping for tryouts, just made the team or are simply interested in learning more about cheerleading, this class will focus on motion technique, game day best practices and other cheerleading fundamentals while teaching FUN sidelines and spirit techniques to keep your crowd engaged!

Meet your instructors, Essence & Christian

5/26: Contemporary Jazz with Taylor and Katie - UDA

Contemporary Jazz: Get inspired for the upcoming season with a contemporary combo geared toward intermediate/advanced dancers!

Meet your instructors, Taylor & Katie

5/26: Tumbling Technique Drills with Whitney Love - NCA

Basic tumbling technique drills: Skills start with drills! Sign up for this class that where you will break a sweat while also learning fundamental drills to help improve your tumbling skills! 

Meet your instructors, Whitney!

5/27: V!ROC(ing) Band Chants with Asia & Bradley - UCA & V!ROC

V!ROC(ing) Band Chants: Get ready to ROC with Asia and Bradley during this UCA & V!ROC combo Band Chant Class! Turn your living room into a (virtual) game day atmosphere while learning some new Band Chants and brushing up on game day best practices! Grab a friend or encourage your whole team to sign up for a time together, U(CA) don’t want to miss this! 

Meet your instructors, Asia and Bradley!

5/27: Full Body Blast with Sami - USA Dance

Full Body Blast: Pilates is a full body workout that not only targets the major muscle groups but also the more minor muscles that help us as dancers. Get ready to lengthen and tone your muscles while improving your flexibility. This work out is perfect for dancers and is fun and accessible too! Bring a light-medium resistance band if you have one, not required!

Meet your instructor, Sami!

5/27: Jazz it Up with Marja - NDA

Jazz It Up: Get ready for a fun, upbeat intermediate level jazz routine that you and your team can use throughout your season!

Meet your instructor, Marja!

5/28: Hip Hop Throw down with Harley and Kyndle - UDA

Hip Hop Throw down: Join Kyndle and Harley for a fun hip hop combo geared toward intermediate dancers!

Meet your instructor, Harley and Kyndle!

5/28: Break it Down with Brandi - USA Cheer

Break It Down with Brandi: Join USA Cheer Head Instructor Brandi to learn a fun and fresh hip hop routine to set to “No Brainer” by DJ Khaled featuring Justin Bieber.

Meet your instructor, Brandi!

5/28: Virtual Audition Prep with Kelsey - NDA

Virtual Audition Prep: Learn the do’s and don’ts of the audition process, and receive one-on-one feedback so you feel ready to go for your audition!

Meet your instructor, Kelsey!

5/29: Move like a Mascot with James - USA Cheer

Move Like a Mascot! USA Cheer and Mascot Head Instructor James will teach you everything you need to know to mascot like a pro! This class is geared toward mascots or anyone interested in learning more about becoming a mascot and will include a short routine perfect for any mascot performance.

Meet your instructor, James!

5/29: FNL Hip Hop Timeout with Brittani - NDA

Friday Night Lights Hip Hop Timeout: Learn a hip hop college time-out routine that will get the crowd up off their feet!

Meet your instructor, Brittani

5/29: Get Fit Friday with Rica and Aja - UCE

Get Fit Fridays with Rica & Aja – Get ready to get fit and have some fun during this full body workout. 

Meet your instructors, Rica and Aja!

Be sure to check back each week for additional class offerings!

Meet the Virtual Training Staff

Aja

Aja

Meet Aja: Aja is from San Antonio, TX and has been cheering since she was 4 years old. She moved to Louisiana where she received her bachelors degree from The Grambling State University and is currently getting her masters degree in Paralegal Studies. Aja was also a Grambling State Cheerleader all of her years attending. When she is not cheering she is at home coloring or researching things about natural hair.

Fun fact - Aja is so obsessed with Chick-fil-a, she ate it everyday for 2 months straight.

Favorite food - Sushi

Alexis P

Alexis P

Meet Alexis: Alexis P. cheered at Bowie State University and is graduating this spring with a Bachelor’s degree majoring in Child and Adolescent studies. She now coaches high school cheer at Paint Branch High school. She has been with The Urban Cheerleading Experience for 3 years and loves getting to teach what she loves to other cheerleaders around the country!

Fun fact - She traveled the whole countryside of Italy at age 10

Favorite food - Potato Chips!

Ally

Ally

Meet Ally: Ally grew up in Orange County, California and started dancing and competing at the age of seven. After studio training, she was a four year member of the USA National Championship winning Esperanza High School Song/Pom team. She continued competing for another four years on the Cal State Fullerton Dance Team, where she participated with the team winning four of their 16 total UDA Collegiate National Jazz Championships. For almost five years, she has been a performer for the Walt Disney Company at the Disneyland Resort and California Adventure Park. Currently, she is also four-year veteran and two-year captain of a Los Angeles Pro team. This is her tenth summer with the United Spirit Association and she plans to continue her passion of dancing and teaching for many years to come.

Fav Food - All-You-Can-Eat sushi!

Fun Fact - Ally is a huge country music fan and loves to go line dancing!

Ashley

Ashley

Meet Ashley: Ashley Marquardt is a Connecticut native and is a middle school biology teacher. She has vast experience coaching and instructing high school, college, and all-star dance teams with a strong focus in Hip Hop. She has choreographed NDA Curriculum material from 2017 to now. She also has experience with professional cheerleading and dance team organizations such as the NLL New England Black Wolves and was a four-year member of the WNBA CT Sun Solar Power Dance Team. Ashley is currently the head coach of her alma mater, the University of Connecticut Dance Team.

Fav Food - Tacos!

Fun Fact - In her spare time, Ashley loves to play video games!

Ashley

Ashley

Meet Ashley: Ashley was a four year member of the dance team at The University of Arizona. Currently, Ashley is finishing her second season as an NBA dancer for the Phoenix Suns. After her first season with the Suns Dancers, Ashley was named the team MVP. Off the court, Ashley has spent her last six summers teaching UDA camps all over the U.S. She also choreographs for many high schools and has taught all over the world including places like London, Rome, and Ecuador!

Fav Food - Sushi!

Fun Fact - Cassie and Ashley both performed in the Super Bowl 49 halftime show with Katy Perry

Asia

Asia

Meet Asia: Asia is a UCA Core Staff and College Staff Instructor and V!ROC skills director. She has been on UCA Staff for seven years. Asia is a two time UCA College National Champion with the University of West Georgia All Girl team and is currently the assistant UWG all girl coach. She was also a member of the US National All Girl team. Her favorite part about working for UCA & V!ROC is watching the excitement of a team get a new skill along with the opportunities she has been given to work with so many other top UCA Instructors from around the country.

Fun Fact - Asia did a commercial for Disney when she was 12 years old

Autumn

Autumn

Meet Autumn: Autumn started dancing at the age of 3 in Southern California where she trained in multiple levels of the Checchetti Ballet System. For 10 years ballet was her first love and at the age of 13 she began to train in other styles of dance such as Hip Hop, Lyrical, Jazz, Modern and Contemporary. She has trained under some of the best including Liz Imperio, Tina Landon, Kayla Kalbfleish and many more. She was a member of the dance company Unity Dance Ensemble, directed by Tessandra Chavez, for 6 Years performing throughout Southern California. She has danced background to names such as Patti LaBelle and Charice and has been an assistant to choreographers on the television series Abby Lee’s Ultimate Dance Competition. She has had the opportunity to dance along side the Martha Graham Dance Company in performing the work ‘Panarama’, choreographed by the late Martha Graham and another new adaption of ‘American Document’. Autumn has worked for the United Spirit Association for 8 years as both a instructor and judge. She teaches and choreographs across California and is an adjudicator for various dance competitions. She most recently was invited to Mexico City to adjudicate for ONP México’s Nationals. Autumn earned her BS in Apparel Design and Production from Cal State Northridge, and now currently combines her passions of design and dance across the United States.

Fav Food - Mac & Cheese

Fun Fact - I was a competitive Irish Dancer.

Bradley

Bradley

Meet Bradley: Bradley has been on UCA Staff for 11 years and is one of our top Head Instructors. He also is on UCA Core Staff. Bradley is a judge for UCA Regional Competitions, High School Nationals (NHSCC), College Nationals and Varsity All Star events including the Summit and the D2 Summit. His favorite part about UCA Staff is that he loves to be a role model for thousands of kids very summer.

Fun Fact - Bradley travels to one new country every year!

Brandi

Brandi

Meet Brandi: Brandi is a Los Angeles native and a professional dancer having worked with artists like Iggy Azalea and Nia Sioux. She is a USA Head Instructor as well a Varsity All Star judge. She has produced professional sports teams rallies and has choreographed several nationally ranked routines.

Fun fact - I’m a professional Bedazzler

Favorite food - Fried Shrimp and French Fries

Brittani

Brittani

Meet Brittani: Brittani was born and raised in Fort Lauderdale, FL and now resides in Dallas, TX with her fiancé; looking forward to getting married this August. She started dancing at the age of 3 and has turned her passion into her career. Along with being in her third year as the Dance State Director in the Southwest Region, Brittani is going into her fourth season as the head dance coach at the University of North Texas. She graduated from Florida State University, where she was a 4-year member (2004-2008) and head dance coach from 2014-2017 of the nationally ranked FSU Golden Girls Dance Team. She has served as an instructor for the National Dance Alliance, and is a former national judge for both NDA and UDA. Brittani has also danced professionally, for the Dallas Cowboys Rhythm & Blue Dancers, and has over 10 years of post-collegiate dance and coaching experience.

Fav Food - Italian food; pasta

Fun Fact - I received my radio DJ license in high school

Britney

Britney

Meet Britney: Britney is from Prairie Village, KS, and graduated from the University of Kansas with a degree in exercise science. Since starting her career with NDA, she has had the privilege of working both high school and college camps as well as numerous NDA events and competitions all across the country. Britney works full time as the Director of Campus Selection at Northwestern Mutual in Kansas City and is also heavily involved in the dance team community. Britney is currently the Dance Team Head Coach at The University of Missouri-Kansas City, Assistant Coach at a local high school and teaches at The Knockout All-Stars. You can also find her choreographing, judging, speaking and guest teaching all throughout the region.

Fav Food - Cheese

Fun Fact - I can solve a Rubik's Cube in under 3 minutes

Cassie

Cassie

Meet Cassie: Cassie has been dancing for 21 years, training and teaching in various styles. She danced on the Arizona State University Spirit Squad for three years and won gold at the 2017 ICU World Championships. Currently she is finishing her third season with the NBA Phoenix Suns Dancers and is working professionally in Los Angeles with Go2Talent Agency.

Fav Food - Chicken Wings!

Fun Fact - I’ve been swimming with sharks

Christian

Christian

Meet Christian: Christian is currently the Spirit Coordinator & Head Cheerleading Coach at Bowling Green State University. He cheered at Morehead State & Shelton State and won UCA National Championships in '13, '14, '16 & '17! Christian has been on UCA Staff for nine years and is on UCA College & Core Staff.

Colleen

Colleen

Meet Colleen: Colleen, like many dance professionals, has been passionate for dance for as long as she can remember. With two older sisters who both danced, there hasn’t been a day that dance hasn’t been in her life. After competing in high school, Colleen continued her dance education at Illinois State University. After graduation, Colleen moved to Chicago to be a part of the professional NBA dance team for the Chicago Bulls, the Luvabulls. Colleen has been on the team for two seasons where she has had the opportunity to dance in front of thousands of people at the 2020 All Star Game as well as backup dance for Lil Wayne and Dame Dolla. Colleen has also trained at some of the country’s top commercial dance facilities in Los Angeles, CA such as Millennium Dance Complex, Movement Lifestyle, Debbie Reynolds Legacy Studios, and The Edge Performing Arts. Colleen has also always had a passion for fitness and began to pursue a professional career as a fitness instructor in 2019. Colleen currently teaches barre, cardio, and HIIT for Exhale in Chicago. This is Colleen’s fifth year working for UDA where she has had the opportunity to work with amazing dancers all over the country. Colleen is excited to continue her professional dance and fitness career in Chicago and beyond.

Fav Food - Fresh ground almond butter from Whole Foods Market

Fun Fact - Colleen dares each of the Luvabulls to do different funny dance moves in their 4th Quarter freestyle during games.

Danielle

Danielle

Meet Danielle: Danielle Eckert is the Assistant Athletic Director at Vanderbilt University overseeing their spirit programs. She also serves as the head coach for the Vanderbilt Cheer Team. She is a 10 year veteran head instructor with UCA and has served on their core training staff and curriculum team. She has a Masters Degree in Higher Education Leadership and a Bachelor's Degree in Communications.

Fav Food - Chips & salsa

Fun Fact - Danielle is a fitness instructor for F45 Training in Nashville, TN!

Erin

Erin

Meet Erin: My name is Erin Shouse and I am a Head Instructor with NDA! This will be my 7th year on staff. I am from Dayton Ohio where I work as the Head Trainer at Orangetheory Fitness. I went to Wright State University where I studied Sports Science and was on the dance team all 4 years. I am currently working towards my Master's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of Dayton.

Fav Food - tacos!

Fun Fact - She has a 3 year old Pomsky named Sadie

Essence

Essence

Meet Essence: My name is Essence and I’ve been on UCA Staff for 5 years. I am also on UCA Core Staff and help train our UCA Staff Instructors all over the country. I cheered at the University of Maryland-College Park. My favorite part about UCA is being able to help athletes grow in their skill and see how proud they are of their accomplishments! If you’ve ever been to camp at Pine Forest / Trails End aka “the woods” I’ve probably seen you there!

Hannah

Hannah

Meet Hannah: I grew up training at the Oak Ridge Academy of Dance in classical ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary, and hip hop. I am a graduate from the University of Tennessee where I was a four year member and captain of the six time national championship dance team. Currently I get the honor of coaching the three time national championship dance team at Bearden High School along with the eight time national championship all star team ORDTTA. This will be my 13th summer working as a UDA staff member. I enjoy getting to travel and work high school camps along with running our college program.

Fav Food - If ranch dressing is considered a food, I’m all in (:

Fun Fact - In college is was in the Monday Night Football commercial with Hank Williams Jr.

Harley

Harley

Meet Harley: I am from Oak Ridge, TN, and I competed on ORDTTA, an all star team, throughout high school and won two National Championships on this team. Currently, I am an upcoming senior captain for the University of Memphis Pom Squad. I am 4th year on UDA staff, and you can follow my UDA adventures on my social media account, @uda_harley!

Fav Food - Raspberries

Fun Fact - I am named after the Harley Davidson motorcycle!

Imani

Imani

Meet Imani:Imani is from Hampton, VA! She was just 16 years old when she started attending The Hampton University where she cheered for 4 years and became captain 2 out of the 4 she was on the team. When Imani isn't cheering she is studying because she loves school! Imani is apart of the core staff for The Urban Cheerleading Experience and loves mentoring the youth. Her favorite part of being on staff is being able to mentor the youth through cheerleading by giving them flawless choreography.

Fav Food - Seafood

Fun Fact - She can sing Silent Night in German

Jamie

Jamie

Meet Jamie: Jamie has been dancing for 21 years and has trained in Pom for 15 years. She is a former 2 year member of the national champion dance team at Orange Coast College. During her time at OCC, they won 2 USA Collegiate Jazz National titles and the 2017 UDA Collegiate Pom title. Jamie also danced with PACE Elite and became a World Champion at the USASF Dance Worlds in the 2017 Co-Ed Pom Division. She also earned bronze world medals with PACE Elite in pom and jazz. Jamie is a 6th year Song/Pom instructor with the USA and is a trained panel judge and legality official for USA competitions.

Fav Food - Seafood

Fun Fact - She's obsessed with the beach, painting, and roller skating!

Kaila

Kaila

Meet Kaila: Kaila is a graduate from the University of Oregon where she was also a cheerleader - Go Ducks! She obtained her Masters Degree in Elementary Education from Portland State University while competing on an All Star team. She currently dances in the NBA for the Portland Trailblazers. Kaila has had the opportunity to be a backup dancer for New Kids On The Block and Portugal. The Man, twice! This is Kaila's 16th year with NCA, where she has had the opportunity to travel the country and even Japan sharing her love for cheer and helping athletes grow.

Fav Food - Sushi and Popcorn.

Fun Fact - I lived in Hawaii for two years. While there, I lived on three different islands and moved 5 times!

Kait

Kait

Meet Kait: Kaitlyn Sexton, known also as ucakait, is from Poughkeepsie, New York, and graduated from Hofstra University, where she won 3 UCA Small Coed DI National Championships titles and 2 UCA All Girl Partner Stunt titles. After cheering in college, she won 3 All Girl Premier World Championship titles with the US National Team. She has been working full time for Varsity Spirit for 5 years (currently as a choreographer for V!ROC) and has been a member of UCA Staff for 9 years, both on College and Core Staff.

Fav Food - Any candy that fits in her UCA Staff shorts pockets!

Fun Fact - Kait is engaged to another UCA Staff Instructor!

Kate

Kate

Meet Kate: Kate Hornsby is from Baton Rouge, LA and has been on UCA Staff for 11 years. She has worked as one of the coaches at Live Oak High School for the past 5 years bringing home 8 first place titles at the UCA National High School Cheerleading Championship. She was also one of the coaches for the 2019 US National Junior All-Girl team. Kate is a member of UCA Core Staff, College Staff and is the Head Instructor at some of our largest camps across the country every summer.

Fav Food - Crawfish

Fun Fact - Her husband proposed to her at UCA Camp!

Katie

Katie

Meet Katie: Katie has always had a passion for dance. From the age of three she has trained exclusively at Duet Dance Academy in Elgin, IL. During her early training she studied in various styles such as Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Pointe, Hip Hop, Contemporary and Lyrical. She attended the University of Illinois where she graduated with honors with a BFA in Dance and received the Senior Magnolia Award. While training at Illinois she was a four year member of the Illinettes Dance Team and held a captain position her final two years. Katie has performed in events such as the Heart of Dallas Bowl in Dallas, Texas, and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. Katie is currently in her 8th year working with Universal Dance Association. She has toured nationally and internationally instructing, judging, and choreographing for Jr. High, High School, and Collegiate dancers. Katie is currently dancing with Inaside Chicago Dance under the artistic direction of Robert McKee. She also serves as the head varsity dance team coach for Barrington High School.

Fav Food - Chicken Nuggets

Fun Fact - I have been to Disney World 31 times!

Kelsey

Kelsey

Meet Kelsey: Kelsey is originally from Chicago, Illinois and now lives in Denver, Colorado. She has been a Varsity Dance State Director for the last 5 years and previously was a member of UDA Staff. Kelsey graduated from Loyola University Chicago with a degree in Sports Management and Marketing. While in Chicago Kelsey coached the mini all-star program at Studio 22 and was head coach at Calumet College. Kelsey loves working with coaches daily to create memorable experiences for their athletes through camps and competitions. When she’s not at a Varsity event, you can find her hiking in the mountains!

Fav Food -Cheesy Gordita Crunch

Fun Fact -She just got a Golden Retriever puppy!

Kyndle

Kyndle

Meet Kyndle: Kyndle Kelly is a Junior at the University of Memphis. She majors in Psychology. Kyndle is a 3rd Year on Memphis Pom!

Fav Food -Ice Cream but I eat everything

Fun Fact -Hip hop is my favorite style of dance

Leanne

Leanne

Meet Leanne: Leanne has been involved in the cheer world for 19 years. She attended Sacramento State University where she received her Bachelor’s degree in Dance. This was her second year dancing professionally for the Sacramento Kings and in 2019, Leanne was invited by the NBA to travel to India to perform. She has also traveled to London and Rome for Varsity’s All American tour. Over the past 12 years while working for USA, Leanne has assisted with curriculum development for summer camps, has panel judged regional and national cheer competitions, and has Head Instructed multiple cheer camps.

Fav Food -Anything Italian

Fun Fact - She is a substitute teacher for grades K-12.

Luise

Luise

Meet Luise: Luise is a graduate of Sam Houston State University where she received her B.F.A in Dance. She was also a captain of the 6x National Champion Orange Pride Dance Team, was a world champion with Dancin' Bluebonnets in 2018, and currently coaches for the Magnolia High School Texas Star Dance Team. This is Luise's 8th summer with NDA!

Fav Food - Schnitzel and Spätzle

Fun Fact - Loves to garden!

Mabree

Mabree

Meet Mabree: Mabree currently attends Lindenwood University and will graduate in May 2021 with a bachelor's degree in marketing and a minor in social media and digital content strategies. She won NCA College Nationals her first three years at Lindenwood on the Large Coed team. She was a member of the US All Girl National Team for the past two years and plan to try out again. Mabree has been cheering for 12 years and this will be her fifth summer on NCA staff. She will continue her cheerleading career this season coaching at ICE St. Louis's all-star gym, as well as cheering at Lindenwood University.

Fav Food - Quest Protein Bars

Fun Fact - I was very close to playing volleyball in college instead of cheering

Marja

Marja

Meet Marja: Marja Edwardson grew up in Minnesota dancing for studio and All-Star dance teams, competing also at the USASF Dance Worlds. She graduated from the University of Kansas with a BFA in Dance. She has coached at the high school and All-Star level. Marja has also been an instructor and competition choreographer at several dance studios, also performing for many years with a local Kansas dance company. This will be her 15th summer as an instructor for NDA, serving as Head Instructor, Team NDA and a part of the event crew helping facilitate events. Marja has traveled with Varsity Spirit to London and Rome to work with dancers for the New Year’s Day Parades, along with being the lead teacher for four years at Varsity Spirit’s Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade event. She has also traveled abroad to Tokyo, Japan to teach dance classes and work with the JCDA instructors at their summer camp. Marja currently lives in Pennsylvania, is working towards her MS in Arts Administration at Drexel University and is the Varsity Dance State Director for the Northeast!

Fav Food -Hands down chips and salsa, guac and queso. I love dip. When I dip, you dip we dip!

Fun Fact -Marja was on a competitive jump rope team as a kid, called the Hip Hoppers!

Michelle

Michelle

Meet Michelle: Michelle is from Dallas, Texas and has been cheering for 19 years and coaching/instructing has been in her life for about 9 years. Michelle cheered at the University of North Texas and graduated with a Bachelors in Rehabilitation Studies and is a part of the Rehabilitation Counseling masters program. When she is not cheering she is with her dog, doing a puzzle, or listening to a podcast! Michelle so excited to go on this virtual journey with you guys!

Fav Food - Chips & salsa

Fun Fact - She has been an instructor at a camp in Japan!

Michelle

Michelle

Meet Michelle: Alumni and former Head Coach at UC San Diego. Currently a National and International cheerleading judge, and going on 14 years as a UCA instructor and head instructor. Background includes competitve gymnastics as well as high school, collegiate and all-star cheer.

Fav Food - Sushi

Fun Fact - I lived in China for a year to teach cheer classes.

MT

MT

Meet Mariterese (MT): Mariterese Altosino, a Chicagoland native, received her early training locally at The Academy of Dance Arts and Xtreme Dance Force. She graduated with honors from Columbia College Chicago with a Bachelor of Arts in Dance and Business and Entrepreneurship. Post graduation, Mariterese danced with Giordano Dance Chicago as a second company member and performing associate for a total of four years. During this time she worked with world-renowned choreographers such as Ray Leeper, Peter Chu, and Marinda Davis and performed works by Ray Mercer, Christopher Huggins, Jon Lehrer and Gus Giordano. Mariterese has performed professionally in Dance for Life Chicago, Harvest Contemporary Dance Festival, Move Dance Festival, and has made TV appearances on Windy City Live and ABC 7 News. Currently, Mariterese is continuing her professional career as a main company dancer with South Chicago Dance Theatre (SCDT). Through SCDT, she has had the opportunity to perform across the midwest, teach through the SCDT outreach program, and travel to Seoul, South Korea for an artist residency. Mariterese is a veteran instructor with Universal Dance Association (UDA) where she travels across the country teaching high school and college dance camps and working local and national championships. Through UDA, she has taken her passion for dance internationally to teach, judge, and choreograph in Ecuador, Germany, Norway, Slovenia, Austria, London, and China. Mariterese continues to choreograph and teach for various studios and schools around the Chicagoland area and is currently the head coach for the Downers Grove South Junior Varsity Dance Team.

Fav Food - Anything with cheese!

Fun Fact - I have six nieces and nephews and one great nephew!

Najah

Najah

Meet Najah: I began dancing at the age of three where I trained in styles such as jazz, tap, hip hop, ballet, and acrobatics, and currently a dancer signed with MSA Talent Agency in Los Angeles, California. I am a graduate from the Pennsylvania State University where I was a four year member of the 3 time national championship Lionettes dance team. I danced on the Dr.Oz talk show, with Joe Jonas and D.N.C.E, Showtime at the Apollo, as well as Cher and Nyle Rodgers. This will be my third year as a UDA staff member. Each summer, I enjoy getting to work with high school and college teams from coast to coast.

Fav Food - Definitely a tie between chicken and broccoli!

Fun Fact - Had the opportunity to teach UDA camps in Germany!

Nicole

Nicole

Meet Nicole: Nicole has over 25 years of dance and competitive dance team experience. She is nationally known for her choreography and coaching ability. Nicole was a scholarship dancer at Jimmie Defores Dance Center in Costa Mesa, and a member of the Tremaine’s Dance Company in Los Angeles with Marguerite Derricks. Nicole is a graduate of UCLA and a former UCLA Bruin dance team member. She was also a former instructor and Program Director for the United Spirit Association (USA) for 10 years, and continues to be a head judge for high school, collegiate, and all-star National competitions. Nicole danced two seasons for the Disney California Angels performing at Anaheim Angels home baseball games. Her credits also include production and choreography for the American Bowl in Mexico City with Ricky Martin, the Paris and Austria NFL Tours, the Pro Bowl in Hawaii, and numerous pre-game and half-time shows for NFL, NBA and College teams. Nicole has choreographed for numerous NFL, NBA, WNBA, CFL, and Arena Football Pro-dance teams including the Laker Girls, San Diego Charger Girls, San Francisco 49er Gold Rush, Los Angeles Clippers, Sacramento Kings Fast Break, Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders, and New England Patriots to name a few. Nicole was a featured choreographer at the Pro-Dance Convention for NFL and NBA dance teams for several years. She has coached several nationally ranked college and high school dance teams, and has been featured in many LA dance projects and national commercials. She has been teaching dance and coaching students for years, and her teams have won numerous national titles, 7 consecutive USA Spirit National Championship titles, USA Dance National title, NDA National Championship title and UDA National Dance Team Championship title in Orlando, Florida. Other awards include Innovative Choreography, Superior Showmanship, Grand Champion, and Technical Excellence. She was name “Coach of the Year” at the California State Championship in 2014 & 2016. Nicole was the Dance Director/Head Dance Coach of the Santa Margarita High School Pom team for 8 years and created their Jr. Eagle mentorship program as well. Nicole is currently the Dance State Director in the west region for Varsity Spirit where she oversees and manages their three dance brands - USA, UDA, and NDA. When not at a Varsity dance event, you can find Nicole at a dance convention or competition with her studio, Pave School of the Arts, where she teaches dance multiple times a week and coaches teams in their competition program. Nicole has a passion for training dancers to be at their personal and team best, and she loves sharing her experience and knowledge with her students. Nicole lives in San Juan Capistrano with her husband and three kids.

Fav Food - Donuts!

Fun Fact - I've been to Hawaii 35 times.

Olivia

Olivia

Meet Olivia: Liv is celebrating her 10th year with the USA and has been a head instructor for 6 of those years. She was a cheerleader at California Baptist University and is now the cheer program’s head coach. She has won 6 NCA Collegiate National titles, 8 USA Collegiate Championships, and 1 USA High School National title.

Fav Food - Pizza

Fun Fact -She just got engaged!

Rainey

Rainey

Meet Rainey: I live in Boone, NC where I’ve been cheerleading and working towards a double major at Appalachian State University for the past four years. I started cheering at the recreational level when I was 4 years old and continued into the competitive cheer world as I got older. I was a member of the world’s team at Cheer Athletics-Charlotte before moving away to college. Since joining UCA Staff, I have had the opportunity of being in the material filming for the last two years, as well as being a part of UCA College Staff and Core Staff. Be sure to follow me on social media @ucarainey!

Fun Fact - I’ve made A’s all the way through college with just one more semester to go.

Fav food - Any kind of fruit!

Rica

Rica

Rica Charleston is the Communications and Operations Director for The Urban Cheerleading Experience and has worked as a summer camp instructor with Varsity Spirit for ten years. She has had the opportunity to cheer for Spirit of Texas and was the captain of her college team at Grambling State University from 2014-2016. She loves doing this job because she believes that representation matters and it is important to teach youth leadership skills through cheerleading. Rica now travels country as a Game Day Choreographer and has won multiple NCA, UCA, and UIL Championships.

Fav. Food - Anything with cheese

Fun Fact - Rica placed Top 15 at Miss Nevada USA and is currently the reigning Miss Black Texas USA

Savannah

Savannah

Meet Savannah: Savannah Hooks has been dancing since the age of 3 and is classically trained in the Cecchetti Ballet System. She has a passion for all styles of dance with extensive training in many which include: contemporary, jazz, ballet, lyrical, hip-hop, modern, and Irish dance. She has danced for a number of dance companies and crews including Unity Dance Ensemble, founded by Tessandra Chavez under the direction of Tarua Hall and Theo Ivey; High Profile Dance Crew, which resides in Las Vegas; and Establish Your Empire, founded by Gigi Torres. She graduated from CSUN magna Cum Laude obtaining a Mathematics degree where she received the F. Lynwood Wren Award. As an educator, Savannah has taught classes all over the country working as a Master Teacher, Choreographer and Coach. She has been a member of the dance staff for the United Spirit Association for almost 10 years where she was awarded M.V.P. for 2015, 2017 & 2018. Savannah loves to create and has always had an absolute passion for choreography. She has been setting pieces on dancers from a very young age, and has choreographed countless award winning, and national title winning routines through multiple venues. She also values the importance of forever being a student, and invests into furthering her education at all times. She has assisted and/or trained under many great dance artists such as Dee Caspary, Tessandra Chavez, Tarua Hall, Liz Imperio, Kayla Kalbfleisch, Keone Madrid, Gigi Torres, and many more. Taking it back to high school she was captain of her dance team for two years and took 2nd place at the U.S.A. solo champion finals 2010. Conclusively Savannah absolutely loves teaching and inspiring others through dance and plans on doing just that for the rest of her life.

Fav. Food - pineapple & jalapeño pizza

Fun Fact - I adopted two cats last year - Bonnie & Clyde

Sami

Sami

Meet Sami: Sami Simon, a native of Southern California, has been training in various styles of dance since she was five years old. While dancing at her studio, Sami had the privilege of performing for the Los Angeles Avengers and Los Angeles Clippers half-time shows. After graduating high school, Sami attended the Department of Dance at California State University, Long Beach where she obtained her BFA in dance. She has also had the privilege of being part of Calvert’s “This Beautiful Life” music video. Since graduating from CSULB, Sami has gotten her Pilates certification with a specialization in dance, as well as started her teaching credential to one day teach dance at the high school level. This is Sami’s fourth summer with the United Spirit Association and and she is excited to continue making connections with others who share the same love for dance!

Fav. Food -

Fun Fact - Sami has a dog named Frankie and dressed him up as a spider for Halloween!

Sean

Sean

Meet Sean: Sean is a New York native who now lives in Memphis, TN and works as the UCA Midwest Competition Director. Sean has been on UCA staff and a Head Instructor for 16 years. He was also on Core staff for 6 years!

Fav Food - Pizza

Fun Fact - I have a cat named Elvis Purrrsly

Shelly

Shelly

Meet Shelly: Shelly is SoCal native and a graduate of San Diego State University where she was a member of the nationally ranked SDSU cheer squad. She is a USA Head Instructor and has coached both all star and high school cheerleading.

Fav Food - Chunky Strawberry Bowl from Jamba Juice

Fun Fact - She is going back to school to become an Elementary school teacher!

Stephanie

Stephanie

Meet Stephanie: Stephanie is a previous UDA Instructor who has traveled across the U.S., Great Britain, Italy, Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Mexico, Japan, Scotland Croatia, Chile, Columbia, Australia, Finland & Ecuador teaching many children of all ages/backgrounds. Stephanie has over 25 years of dance training and was a former member of the junior Gus Giordano Company. She was also inducted into the Hall of Fame of Dance at a young age. Stephanie is a former athlete, captain and coach for the University of Illinois Illini Dance Team. She has consulted and choreographed for several high school and college competitive teams, including both nationals and world champions. She was honored to be a choreographer for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2013 and 2014 and when she choreographed for the Chicago Bulls Bullskidz half-time show in 2018. She also was a professional performer for 2 seasons with Six Flags Great America. She has performed on the MDA telethon featuring Jerry Lewis. She has been the technical coach for the last 9 years at Maine South High School 2017 & 2019 National Champion High Kick Team. She is also the technique coach for Studio 22 which has won UDA National Championships and the Summit! She is currently a UDA/NDA State Director for IL, IA, WI, MN, SD & ND.

Fav Food - Buffalo Wings & Steak (not together)

Fun Fact - I have been to 23 countries total!

Taylor

Taylor

Meet Taylor: Taylor is from Minnesota where she dances for the University of St. Thomas dance team. There she has won 4 national championships and is currently going into her 2nd year as a captain of the team. Her freshman year of college she danced at the University of Kentucky, where she had the opportunity to represent the US Nationals Team in both Hip Hop and Pom at the ICU Worlds Competition. Following Taylor’s first year with UDA staff, she was named Rookie of Year. Going into her fourth summer, she is looking forward to continuing making memories with the people that have become her second family over the years.

Fav Food - Chicken Caesar wraps

Fun Fact - I’m yet to try a hamburger, even when staff went to In-n-Out in TX! Going to see how long I can go.

Tucker

Tucker

Meet Tucker: - My name is Tucker Hunter and I have been involved with NCA for 9 years. I was a head instructor for 3 summers before stepping into my current position as the staffing director for NCA college and speed staff. I was born and raised just outside of Portland, Oregon. I graduated from Oklahoma State University and cheered on the large coed team there for 4 years. I love to explore new places and am fortunate to have travelled to 5 different countries for cheerleading.

Fav Food - - I am not picky at all and like most foods but am a sucker for fajitas/Mexican food.

Fun Fact - I am very patriotic! I was on the US National Coed team for 5 years from 2013 to 2017.

Whitney

Whitney

Meet Whitney: Daughter of Debbie Love, I was born and raised in Lexington, KY. My cheerleading career started 17 years ago as an all star cheerleader, where I was able to win UCA, NCA, and Cheersport, and World champion titles. During this time, I found myself progressing in the tumbling area of our sport. In 2011 I became the only female to land and compete a standing double.
I attended college and I won NCA collegiate titles as a D1A large coed member at Oklahoma State University four years in a row. During my college career I started working NCA Speed and College camps, which showed me how interested I was in teaching basket toss technique.
Since graduating from OSU in 2016, I’ve won five gold medals as an athlete on the US national coed team.
I currently reside in Lexington, KY spending most of my time working at GymTyme as an all star coach. I also assistant coach the large coed team at University of Louisville