Spirit of Texas Trains Competitive Cheerleaders
Spirit of Texas is one of the most elite, respected and well-known cheer gyms in the competitive cheer world. The gym also offers public tumbling classes in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex and an opportunity to win national and world championships while learning lessons that can’t be taught in a classroom.
Spirit of Texas has won countless national titles, seven gold globes from worlds, and is always a top five contender at competitions. With two locations, 30 coaches and more than 500 athletes, the gym coaches their athletes to be mentally, physically, and emotionally tough, teaching them what commitment is and how to be a team player.
For part-owner Brett Hansen, Spirit of Texas is his life’s work, but also a family and community. It has helped him continue to live out his childhood and passion while helping somebody else reach their dreams. “I love coming to work and being able to help these athletes achieve their dreams,” Hansen said. “Whether it is a basic round-off or a crazy elite pass, seeing their hard work pay off makes all the work worth it. Typically, 25% of our seniors go on the tryout and make it at the collegiate level.”
Tryouts for the new season take place in the middle of May. Practice for the new season starts middle/end of June and runs until the end of the season, which is the end of April or beginning of May. During the summer, athletes are only allowed to miss up to four practices.
Many athletes who have cheered on competitive teams at Spirit traveled countless hours to get to practice. Some have even moved from across the country just to be part of a Spirit team. Practice can range up to two nights a weeknight for three hours and one weekend practice for three hours, to having practice almost every night for three to four hours to prepare for an upcoming competition.
Spirit of Texas competes seven to eight times a year, no matter what level. Competitions can be local or travel. Last year, teams traveled to Houston, Indianapolis, Atlanta, and Florida. Florida has the biggest competition, the world championship.
No matter the athletic level, on a team or not, if you are a Spirit of Texas athlete, you are a part of the family. So are friends and family members. “Spirit of Texas means more than just an all-star cheerleading gym I was a part of,” said Spirit of Texas alumnus and Florida State cheerleader, Amanda Yount. “Spirit of Texas means family, friendship, and work ethic. Spirit of Texas means a home away from home where I feel comfortable going to and being at no matter what mood I’m in that day. It means a gym with loving coaches who care about you in and out of cheer.”
Yount said she learned how to be a better cheerleader and a better person there. “It taught me how to respect others and follow rules or else there’s consequences,” she said. “It taught me how to be mentally and physically strong. It taught me how to be passionate and have a drive for something. It taught me how to handle victory and defeat in the respectful way . . . It successfully set me up to continue my career with college cheerleading at Florida State University and made me the person I am today.”
Cheer coach Dahlston Delgado said cheering is important, but so is character. “There will come a time when your talent fades,” he said. “When your ability to cheer is slim. Where all that people have left to judge you by is your character. Make it something you are proud of. People are going to remember how you treated them, more so than how great you were at cheerleading.”