Cheer and Dance into History in Daytona Beach
18 Mar, 2021
The National Cheer and National Dance competition is celebrating its 25th year in Daytona Beach, April 7-11.
With the mention of Daytona Beach, many envision warm, sunny beaches, roaring race cars and the hum of motorcycles. But to collegiate cheer and dance teams, Daytona Beach is the chance to win it all!
Since 1996, cheer and dance teams from top universities throughout the county have gathered in Daytona Beach to compete for the national title and coveted golden trophy. After a hiatus in 2020 due to the pandemic, the event returns to the Ocean Center and Daytona Beach Bandshell April 7 through 11, marking 40 years of competition and 25 years in Daytona Beach.
“Twenty-five years ago, our annual championship took place in the Southwest. We had barely 1,000 participants and were struggling to grow. We knew our event had great promise, but the destination wasn’t a draw,” said Bill Boggs, senior vice president of the National Cheerleaders Association. “So we reassessed and looked to Florida. While many towns weren’t interested in hosting our event, Daytona Beach recognized our potential and welcomed us with open arms. And here we are, 25 years later, with a reputation as the single largest collegiate cheer and dance competition in the world!”
The event has created a platform for teams to showcase not only their athleticism, but also the role the student athletes play at their respective organizations. Additionally, leaving the competition with a championship title generates tremendous recognition and increases a school’s ability to recruit high-quality student athletes.
And recognizing the opportunities that result from competing at Nationals, the National Cheerleaders Association and National Dance Alliance have made efforts to turn that dream into a reality for as many teams as possible.
“Many teams competing had the chance to receive a Gold, Silver or Bronze Paid Bid at an NCA and NDA College Summer Camp in order to receive substantial discounts for this event, making their journey to Daytona Beach possible in many cases,” said Boggs. “The Collegiate Championship has become the end-of-the-year highlight for all these teams that work tirelessly supporting their school and athletic programs each academic year.”
The five-day event not only provides competitors, as well as their friends and family, an opportunity to experience all that the Daytona Beach area offers, but also supports the local community.
“This is an extraordinary example of the community coming together to garner success,” said Lori Campbell Baker, executive director of the Daytona Beach Area Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB). “The Ocean Center and CVB teamed up to bring this group to Daytona Beach more than 25 years ago, and the relationships have only strengthened over the years. The City of Daytona Beach, our hoteliers, and other area partners have really stepped up to ensure that NCA and NDA feel welcomed and appreciated. We are excited to be part of their 25th year celebration.”
The 2021 competition takes place April 7 through 11 at both the Ocean Center and Daytona Beach Bandshell. Attendance is limited due to the added safety protocols that have been implemented to mitigate and reduce the spread of COVID-19. For more information about the event, visit https://www.varsity.com/nca/school/competitions/college-nationals/.