Members of Reston Youth Cheer practice at South Lakes High School. The group is open to girls from kindergarten to 12th grade.
Photo by Alex McVeigh.
Reston Reston Youth Cheer, an organization that allows girls to learn how to become cheerleaders, has kicked off their latest season, with summer practices beginning Tuesday, Aug. 7. The group, which features cheerleaders as young as kindergarten age, practices at Langston Hughes Middle School.
"We have kids who want to cheer because they have a connection to the local football teams, but we also have a group that are just interested in cheering," said Traci Waller, one of the coaches and RYC commissioner. "We lost some of our older girls this year, but have 10 in our kindergarten through second grade group, and it’s always fun to welcome new people."
The group performs at several games per year for the Reston Youth Association football teams, as well as in local competitions. Last December they won the Youth Division championship at T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria.
They also perform at the annual Holiday Parade at Reston Town Center on the day before Thanksgiving every year.
Volunteer coaches from around the community help teach the girls the maneuvers, they learn several cheers, from "De-fense!" to "Be, Be Aggressive."
"We have a great group of volunteer coaches who really keep everything going smoothly," Waller said. "They’re essential for everything from teaching the basic motions and mak[ing] sure we have consistency from performance to performance and event to event."
Reston Youth Cheer holds summer practices from 6 to 8 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Regular practice schedules will begin Sept. 4.
Registration is available for girls kindergarten through 12th grade through the end of this week. More information, including additional sessions offered by RYC, is available at www.restonyouthcheer.org.