Stephanie Purves, Trisha Shechuck (in the air), and another teammate practise one of their skills.   The Dynasty Cheer Academy will be competing at the PCA Nationals on Nov. 29.

‘Field of Dreams’ for cheer academy

Group to compete at national cheerleading championships in Brampton

This cheer academy can show you better than they can tell you.

The Dynasty Cheer Academy will be competing at the 2013 University and Open National Cheerleading Championships in Brampton. The competition tests Ontario academies on their comprehension of stunts, tumbling and floor performance.

This is the academy’s second year running and will  be their first competition this season.

They hope to make a lasting impact.

“The development of this program, from the summer till now has been huge. I’m looking forward to showing everybody what we’ve been working on because we’ve come so far in our first year,” said Travis Stirrat, the gym owner and program developer. “Knowing that a lot of people will be watching out for us this year, I’m excited to see the outcome.”

They were in the competition last year, but didn’t get far due to their inexperience as a group.

The group has been training three times a week for three hours, even coming in during their spare time to perfect their skills. Stirrat is a technique driven coach and hopes that it will make their performances stand out.

“Our routines are different. Its not something people say ‘Oh my God they are coming,’ yet. We will eventually build there,” said Stirrat. “At this point we are matching our skills up with programs that have been open for 10 years and that keeps driving us.”

There will be tough competition, with 10 other academies taking part.

The facility, near Markham and Highway 401, opened in September 2012. The building is 13,000 square feet and features the teams colour, purple, throughout.

“Last year we started up and we literally had about 10 athletes. My mentality was like the Field of Dreams program, where you build a facility, offer a program and the athletes will come.”

The academy currently houses over 100 athletes. They come in for classes ranging from tumbling to power tumbling to air position.

One of those athletes is Vince Cruz. When Stirrat started up the facility, it was a no-brainer to follow his old coach.

“He makes you try your hardest and tests your limits, almost to your breaking point,” he said. “I’ve been learning slowly from him that hard work pays off.”

Cruz and his teammates are looking forward to the competition.

“I’m excited to go on stage because my adrenaline goes up and helps me do my skills. I have so much energy that even if I have an injury, I wont even feel it,” said Natasha Derlist, a member of the academy.

Competition aside, Stirrat enjoys watching his athletes grow.

“The best part about this academy is watching these athletes grow. You get to watch them come into the gym. They physically change, emotionally change and mentally change and grow up as athletes,” Stirrat said.

The competition runs Nov. 29–30.