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In the BeginningNCA

Lawrence Herkimer organized the first spirit company, the National Cheerleaders Association in 1948. The first cheerleading camp, held in Huntsville, Texas, included speech lessons to improve delivery, and English classes which focused on the use of rhyme as a basis for creating cheers. The National Cheerleaders Association continues to promote more than just technical training at their summer camps. For six decades, NCA has been successful at building character, promoting leadership and instilling discipline in teen-agers and young adults from coast to coast and abroad.

Through the years, NCA has worked hard to dispel popular Hollywood myths about cheerleaders and dancers, hiring statisticians to compile data that shows:

  • 82% of today’s cheerleaders and dance team members maintain a B or higher average;
  • 86% participate in a second sport;
  • 82% are accepted into colleges;
  • 68% hold another leadership role at their school.

It’s more hard work and diligence than glitz and glamour when squads take center stage on the playing fields to rally peers to cheer their teams to victory. Through summer camps, cheerleading squads and dance teams practice, practice, practice until their performances click with precision.


NCA provides cheer teams and coaches with a comprehensive curriculum at Summer Camps to ensure that teams learn the proper balance of skill, leadership, technique and character. We stand steadfast in our belief that the “camp experience” is unique and meaningful, and that we can positively impact the lives of the cheerleaders and dancers who attend our camps.

Attending camp fosters team bonding and personal development. This, coupled with a well-rounded curriculum that has been developed by industry professionals over a period of more than 60 years, is a proven recipe for establishing a foundation essential to build on throughout the year. NCA offers training for teams of all skill and ability levels, with a shared focus of safety and fun. Camp is fun for the participants, and there is no question that the mission of the staff is to make sure that each individual leaves camp with lasting memories and a clear understanding of what it means to be a leader in both school and life.

Innovation is a key ingredient to our success as well, with the introduction of the first luxury camps, all-star camps, boot camps and stunt fest clinics, as well as various award and curriculum firsts, many of which have been copied by industry competitors.

Championships and Special Events are approached in the same spirit of excellence by NCA. These events are second-to-none in the industry. Decades of experience planning, organizing and running large, worldwide events has enabled NCA to create a formula for success that ensures that participants, coaches and spectators experience professional, well-organized events that are known for their excitement, credibility, consistency of quality and fair judging


NCA seeks to instill in young people the values and habits that will enable them to compete, endure, and become successful in life: preparation, dedication, tenacity, perseverance, self-sacrifice, teamwork, and leadership to name but a few. These are the values they will need to navigate the difficult transitions of life: from child to adolescent to young adult to parent to senior citizen. These are the values they will draw upon to preserve their marriages, their families, and their jobs. And these are the values that we at NCA wish to instill in young people through their participation in cheerleading: in our camps and in our competitions.

In all that we do, we tirelessly attempt to be true to our creed, the nine statements of the beliefs we hold dear:

  1. Cheerleading activities are bonding opportunities around which the entire family can unite.
  2. Team cohesion and performance is prized above individual talents and accomplishments.
  3. No single individual makes a team successful; teams become successful through the collective talents and best efforts of all their members.
  4. Excellence in the classroom ranks as first priority; ahead of excellence in the gym, stadium, or field.
  5. There is no substitute for hard work and preparation.
  6. Perseverance, resourcefulness, and dedication will overcome obstacles and setbacks.
  7. There are no closer friendships than those made through practicing, losing, and winning together as a team.
  8. Small triumphs promote confidence, self-esteem, dedication, and desire paving the way for future, larger triumphs.
  9. The performance arena is merely a practice area for the larger arena of life.
NCA - National Cheerleaders Association

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