SPRINGVILLE – The announcement came just 12 days ago, and the response is out of this world. 31 girls have already signed up for Galaxy All Star Cheerleading of WNY, the first competitive youth cheerleading program in the rural south.
Executive Director Katie Pinter and CEO Chrissy Paolini coached a group of girls and their friends last summer. What began as Pinter’s backyard practices blossomed into much more.
Amanda Furhmann, Chrissy Paolini and Katie Pinter will coach WNY’s Galaxy All Star Cheerleading.
They found themselves looking for an indoor space to practice during the winter and extend the program. Fellow female business owner Tanya Siddle of Soul 2 Sole Dance Studio happily worked with the group to allow use of her space. She also provided some useful mentoring for these young entrepreneurs.
Later this month, the ladies will formalize the organization transparently – into a non-profit. Each has full-time or part-time jobs in other fields and wanted to create an organization that would both benefit the community and attract them to the organization.
“We are more than happy to bring this program to our community. We offer a range of athletic skills, team building and lifelong friendships to all our athletes!” explained the post on Facebook.
All ladies will serve as coaches. They listed many skills they hope to foster in the youth of the area by creating a competitive cheer team. This includes teamwork, friendship, the ethics of practice, trust, endurance, toughness and dealing with defeat.
Each of the coaches has varying amounts of cheer and training experience, which provides an excellent example of teamwork. Pinter enjoys dealing with the business aspects of organization and routines, and generally maintains control of the room, which is no easy task with the young. Managing Director Amanda Fuhrmann brings with her extensive dance experience. She also uses the knowledge she developed as a massage therapist to create comprehensive stretching and conditioning techniques. Paolini specializes in choreography and stunt skills. Steph Obe will also serve not only as one of their head coaches specializing in tumbling and flying, but also as chief financial officer. Paolini met Obe through the star’s cheerleading program when they were on the senior and junior teams, respectively.
Anyone between three and 11 years old can join. No boys have yet to join the program, but they certainly could. The coaches hope to get enough interest to expand the organization into the junior league by August, allowing participation from 12- to 15-year-olds.
Galaxy will first offer a pop-up session during the February break from 5-8 p.m. on February 22 – February 24. The youngest participants will take part in team building exercises and early cheer skills.
The first official mini season runs from March 1 to the end of May. Participants will learn a complete routine to perform at the Soul 2 Sole Pioneer venue at the conclusion. Practices are Wednesday and Thursday from 6:15-8:15 p.m.
July marks the start of the official 8 month competition season. The ladies intend to announce the practice schedule soon.
Paolini spoke about her experience traveling to competitions. “We were used to traveling… Even just going to Pennsylvania, it’s a whole new world. I think it’s important and kind of intimidating and maybe discouraging, but if the girls are ready for it, it won’t discourage them. I think it’s a nice experience even if it’s just a small competition a few states away… When we went to Disney, we met people from France, from Italy, from Mexico, and just seeing how different countries do things.. .It’s a wonderful thing that I think every girl or boy should be able to have that chance to go for it. It may not happen right away, but it will happen. You’re still working.”
The coaches can’t wait to build the girls’ confidence and self-esteem.
“Developing that curriculum, applying it and seeing the girls actually succeed is probably what I’m most excited for,” Fuhrmann said. “I see them having fun and learning and succeeding and feeling proud of themselves.”
Parents and guardians are invited to meet the coaches at the next registration event on Saturday, January 28 at 10 a.m. at Soul 2 Sole, 243 W. Main St. in Springville. Participants in both the February and March sessions will receive a free hair bow. There will be a basket raffle and official merchandise available for purchase.
In addition to participants, Galaxy also seeks sponsorships. A business sponsor will receive specific advertising space, including digital and print promotion. Every sponsorship dollar will go towards uniforms for the competition season and other competition costs. Family and friends can also sponsor a cheerleader to help offset the cost of tuition and uniforms.
For more information or to register, email email@example.com, call 716-913-6319, or follow @galaxyallstarcheerleading on Facebook.