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All Star Music: What Is Happening?

After fielding what seems like hundreds of questions about the music changes, I decided to write a blog-style article that covers more angles to help everyone understand the changes to come. I know you all hate reading, but there’s no way to entirely explain this in a meme.  I wrote very casually to keep the conversation less dry, and contains some of my generalizations and opinions.

We’re not dealing with the All Star industry, we’re dealing with Copyright Law.

These changes are not nearly as scary as people think, and it must happen. This industry is just late out of the starting gate. The first point that must be acknowledged is that this industry (including the music producers, the gyms and the event companies) has rarely ever licensed music properly.   The past reasons for infringement are moot; the changes are great because the industry just side-stepped the biggest music infringement lawsuit ever, in my opinion. Cross your fingers that nobody sues again for the past year’s infringement. 

I’m going to address questions that have been asked most frequently. Yes, this includes references to my products to demonstrate what compliant music sounds like, but the purpose of this article is to remove some of the mystery and hysteria about the changes. This is not legal advice; I’m not a lawyer, so if you have law questions/concerns, call a lawyer! Now, without further ado…

Who Are You To Speak About This?

This article isn’t about me, but it is important to know that I didn’t just hear about this music change and have a knee-jerk reaction; I have been preparing for it for years because our industry has been in the wrong and the problem should be corrected for everyone’s legal safety.

I’m Carmine Silano, I run a 14-employee business called CheerSounds. Our company services over 12,000 cheerleading teams each year. For the sake of this article, the only background information that applies is that I studied Music Industry while cheering in college. Since 2012, 100% of my work has been to fix this problem. You’ve already heard the solution, you just don’t know it; you’ve been listening to it at competitions since 2012!

What’s The Background?

Long story short, the industry as a whole has been violating copyright law. EPs, music producers, camps, gym owners, cocahes and athletes have all ignored the warnings they received and perpetuated their behavior for nearly 25 years. The issue “became real” in 2012 when several Cease and Desists were sent out to music producers from the RIAA due to a tip-off that is speculated to be from a cheer music producer that was losing market share. A lawyer from EMI cleverly pitted several music producers against each other to learn more about the industry. I ended up on several phone calls with RIAA, EMI, Sony and Universal Music to learn the full extent of what was going to happen. At that time, I pivoted CheerSounds to start making Covers and Original music. I spoke at the 2014 USASF regional meetings on the topic as well, and made many of the other mixers aware in what is now the nearly-defunct Cheer Music Mixers Association. Producers didn’t want to look at the reality of Copyright Law, EPs ignored everything I said, and coaches said “we’ve been doing this for years, it’s fine”.

What Triggered This Sudden Change?

In my opinion, distribution through video triggered this, even though video is not the cause of the problem.  The RIAA or a major label tagged one of the EPs. One big clue is when all the music was yanked off of the EP’s VOD services. Inside sources tell me the EP fought the accusation for nearly a year before accepting they messed up. Putting music to video requires synchronization rights, and the EPs aren’t going to have the time to obtain all of those rights.

Covers do not release the EPs from Sync or Mechanical rights, but it does make Master rights practical. Mechanical rights are easy, sync rights are more involved. Master rights are seemingly impossible to license derivatives from large labels, but if we create a cover, we have the master rights to that recording and can grant license to others in a minute.

If they want to enjoy profitable services such as Video On Demand, Streaming Video or DVDs that feature the music that was performed, the video production company needs written consent from each artist for sync rights, as well as master rights to the original recording (but a cheer mix from before this change is an unlicensed derivative so you can’t obtain it anyway).  The distributing company needs to also pre-purchase copies of the mechanical rights to each track for each copy they expect to sell. I’ve been in this industry long enough to know this will never happen because the logistics are too complicated.

I hope this statement doesn’t trigger a landslide in how events are run, but if EPs didn’t incorporate the performance audio in the video (or distribute music), then nobody has to worry about sync licensing or distribution, or master rights [circumstantial] as long as the songs can be publicly performed. Public Performance licenses still apply with covers (royalties to the original writers, not the cover artists) but that license is simple.

Commercial vs Personal Usage

Buying a song from Amazon or iTunes or a CD does not give you any right other than to listen to the music. You don’t own it, and you definitely can’t make copies of it, or give away copies of remixes of it, or even play it for a crowd without license. These are all commercial uses and require additional licenses.

Please note that Money does NOT need to change hands in order to commit copyright infringement!!

So What Is The Solution?

In one sentence, the solution is Follow The Law. We’re not dealing with the All Star industry, we’re dealing with Copyright Law. All the industry is doing is catching up to fix mistakes.

To follow the law:

  • The gym owners need license to publicly perform music in their place of business (ASCAP, BMI, etc)
  • The gym owners need to pre-purchase additional licenses [from their music producer] for each copy of the music they plan to give to the athletes
  • The EPs need license to publicly perform music at their event (unless the venue covers it)
  • If distributing copies of the music, the EPs need to pre-purchase additional licenses for each copy of the music they plan to give to the athletes.
  • If recording, the EPs need master & mechanical license to distribute recordings of the music, and also need synchronization rights if they are sync’ing the recorded audio with the video. The latter license requires permission from the song’s writers.
  • Music Producers need to either create their own original content, license someone’s covers, create & license their own covers, or license someone else’s material as well as obtain the rights required by the team and EPs.

The solutions to make this seamless and successful are:

  • Covers
  • Original (unique) Music
  • Licensed Content

These can be created as custom mixes, premade mixes, or build-your-own music. The key is that the content is licensed. There are still licensing steps for each which will be discussed later.

Having a music producer who can instantly grant the rights is a benefit. No committees, no big record companies, and a producer that knows exactly what the teams & EPs need to do with the music. Original Music is Freedom. (Note that this ONLY applies to original music – COVERS are NOT EXEMPT from synchronization and mechanical royalties, which makes me think the rulings are going to change yet again.)

Other triggers to this are from ASCAP’s recent discovery of the Cheer Gym, a whole new source of legitimate revenue. This is really a secondary event, though. ASCAP has nothing to do with the distribution of recorded music!

ASCAP: What Is It And Why Should I Pay?

ASCAP is one of several Performing Rights Organizations (PROs). When artists release songs, they relinquish their public performance right (allowing others to play their music), and a performing rights society such as ASCAP is selected to collect royalties from where the music is publicly played.

Bottom Line: If you play songs that you don’t own in your gym , then you need to pay a performing rights society. You should have been for years, and you’re lucky you haven’t been fined. Don’t try to lie and say “we only play the radio”.  You use music to enhance your business, and you owe royalties. It’s a yearly fee; last I checked it was $150 a year for 75 athletes or less, and $250 a year for 150 athletes. It’s a cost of doing business, and it’s your legal obligation.

Event holders: if you use music at your event, you will realistically need an ASCAP and BMI license to cover the majority of popular music (yes, even for covers). The public performance license is the responsibility of the Event Organizer or the Venue, not both.

But ASCAP has NOTHING to do with the largest changes that were recently announced. Those changes are primarly to be compliant with Distribution requirements, not Public Performance requirements. Although ASCAP has performance paperwork, it does not cover everything required for an EP to record, sync with video or distribute any copy of said recording.

ASCAP Isn’t The Only One!

In the previous section, I alluded to there being multiple PROs.  Most artists we use in Cheer are registered with ASCAP, but there are still popular radio artists that are registered with BMI. If you are playing any music by an artist under a PRO that you do not have a license from, you are infringing on copyrights. So, Get BOTH an ASCAP and BMI License!

So All Star Music Will Sound Like Camp Music?

It really doesn’t have to. Camp music is notoriously bad because they are karaoke-style covers that were intended for use in bars, spin class, children’s toys and other non-serious functions.  They don’t sound anything like what the All Star community is used to.  However, we’ve been making “SoundAlike” covers for years, where we cover a song so accurately that most customers can’t tell the difference.  Thousands of teams have performed with these and nobody is the wiser.

It’s not all covers, though. Think about super competitive cheer music. It’s all original already, so nothing will really change. Check it out:

It’s odd to me that some of the camps have been doing their camp music correctly for decades, but then they abandoned the copyright protocol when they started competitions & recorded events! In the past two years, though, all of the camps we work with have shifted to the proper protocol. The change is just starting to propagate into other parts of the industry.

Do I Have To Give Up Radio Songs?

NO! You just can’t jack the originals from iTunes and Amazon, you have to use licensed covers. (licensed originals would be great, but the record companies won’t do it without spending the cost of a house). We have a pretty large library of SoundAlikes. Check out this demo reel of a few selections:

Why Covers?

In a nutshell, the “cover” part isn’t the important part. The question  “Who owns the recording?” is the important part.  When WE make a cover, WE own the recording, and WE can grant Master rights for someone else to use the recording. When <record label> makes a recording, they own the recording and they are unwilling to license to our industry (for several good reasons, honestly). So, its being proposed to bypass their recordings and use recordings from companies like us, who can grant the license to use our recording, while paying Mechanical royalties to the original song writers.

How Does It Affect Coaches/Gyms?

I know most coaches think they have done nothing wrong but I would bet almost anything they are giving copies of the music to the athletes, or putting it on their website, or playing music in the gym without the proper PRO licenses. All of those are copyright infringement examples with the way 99% cheer music currently is.

The coaches that are affected most are the coaches that used to download a few songs off of iTunes and edit them together.  Forget about that, it’s not compliant. You’ll have to buy music from someone who is either granting license to use it however you & your EP need. Most music producers will raise their prices because they’ll have to abruptly obtain more resources and spend more time creating products.  Some companies have always made original content; their prices will remain the same unless they are just riding the bandwagon of screwing the gym owners some more.

As previously mentioned, Gyms should already be paying their ASCAP licenses.

Long story short, you’ll want to go to a company or person that can prove they are using licensed work or they are creating their own works. If they give you an iTunes or Amazon receipt, they aren’t playing by the rules.

How Does It Affect Music Producers?

The music you use in your mixes will have to either be your own original composition where you grant the appropriate rights to the team and/or EP, or it will have to be covers (or other artist’s works) that you create or license from others. If you are editing music from iTunes or Amazon or Google Play, you’re doing it wrong.

Some will consider becoming their own record label, which will require significant investments of labor and money for creating original music and/or covers but will make your a viable resource. Failure to comply ends up poorly. There have been lawsuits but I don’t want to throw anyone under the bus.

You could also  talk with music houses that have libraries of covers or originals to license out; set up an arrangement to get blanket licenses that allow you to make and sell derivatives of their works. CheerSounds is considering opening its libraries up to other producers but a decision has not been made yet.

How Does It Affect EPs?

You still have to pay public performance royalties just like the gyms do, but if you want to Film your events and include the music (or if they want to record or distribute the music), more licenses are required from the music producers.  When the event is being broadcast, Cue sheets are also required to be submitted to the performing rights societies.

To make this easier, EPs may desire music that can be licensed easily, i.e. “Producer X owns this and already gave us permission sync all of his tracks to video”. That’s much simpler than “we need to contact britney, christina, iggy,  and everyone else for this one mix, and the other 500 mixes at the event today”…yeah right.

If the EP is only playing the music live, and no recording is happening, then not much is different than before. Pay the public performance fees.

What Is Contemporary/Lyrical Dance Going To Do?

Although their music doesn’t sound like cheer music, the same laws and rules apply.  Unique covers and original music can still be used as long as the required licenses are obtained. I plan on starting a contemporary dance music store featuring classical, orchestral & jazz covers as well as original works in the future. The only problem is that EPs want to film the events but they aren’t going to secure licenses for it…so I’m hesitant.

But if you want to go really different, try something like what we made for Crimson Heat UK:

What About Hip Hop Dance?

As far as copyright law is concerned, it’s no different than any other music; all the same rules and laws mentioned previously still apply.  In my opinion, it’s a great opportunity for Hip Hop dance to start migrating towards more unique content. We have mixes to be released mid-June. It is all original, so the EPs will love it.

What’s The $150,000 Fine?

The $150,000 fine they are talking about is the maximum penalty for statutory damages, usually with intent to infringe upon copyrights. The fine is most likely going to be issued to those that distribute copies of unlicensed music (copies to athletes, video on demand, streaming, CDs given out to teams, etc). It can affect anyone that doesn’t follow the law.

What Will Definitely Get Me Sued?

Although copyright law seems complex, there are some very black-and-white instances where you lose, guaranteed.

  • Distributing copies of music without license for the master recordings and the mechanical licenses. This is true for EPs, camps, gyms, athletes.
  • Synchronizing music with video (e.g. if your video has music) without sync license (a type of mechanical license) and master licenses.
  • Ignoring ASCAP or BMI letters to your gym when you undoubtedly use their artist’s music.
  • Selling/distributing derivative works of someone else’s recordings without permission.

Who Can Make Music?

Technically, anyone. You just have to either make your own content and grant the appropriate licenses to the EPs, or purchase license to use someone else’s content. If you don’t have a written license to use it, you don’t have a license and you can’t use it!

But In Reality, Who Will Make The Music?

For custom music, I only know of 5 individuals or companies that can currently pull this off appropriately (where teams will like their music). It wouldn’t be ethical for me to list them, but I think all of the individual producers, coach-producers,  and athlete-producers are going to be cut out of creating their own mixes without the help of an outside service. The real question is How Many mixes can each producer/company complete in a timely fashion? To my understanding, they all do between 100 and 300 mixes per season, with the exception of CheerSounds doing significantly more, but even we are fearful of the flood of 20,000 custom mixes. Remember, it’s not just All Star, it will be UCA/UDA/NCA/NDA which includes high school.

The Licensed Premade and Licensed Do-It-Yourself market will increase tremendously, though. This includes online stores that use original & cover content, as well as do-it-yourself tools like 8CountMixer. It’s more affordable, it’s instant, and it can be infinitely scaled.

How Do I Buy Music These Days?

It really depends on where you are bringing the music, but for simplicity I will answer this question with the assumption that you compete at the major events.

Buy music from a company or producer that knows how to register his/her works, that has licenses for the covers and recordings they use, and has the ability to grant you the rights you need to use this at major events. Ask them about their licensing practices, if they are compliant copyright law and with the EP’s licensing requirements. CheerSounds is ready to go; other producers are adjusting and should be ready for the upcoming season.

I am told there will be an “approved vendors list” that will be released by a major EP in the near future. I am not sure of the vetting process, but I trust every major producer will be checked out before making it onto the list.

You will most likely not be able to pick any song you want. Each company will offer a library of covers they already have, and you can choose them for your mix.  You can also ask them to make original content, such as voice overs or songs made specifically for your team.  Honestly, when done right, it sounds no different than what you heard at the last event you attended.

I Heard LegitMix Solves The Problem Though?

LegitMix has a very specific purpose that does not encompass all of the uses our industry requires. LegitMix is based on Personal Use of music, but our industry is a Commercial Use of music. For example, LegitMix does not provide any sort of license for synchronization with video, nor does it give any person the license to redistribute the files purchased on LegitMix.

I reached out to LegitMix in 2013 and made the founder aware of our industry. We used LegitMix for three months and then stopped using the service. Although we thought LegitMix was a good solution for us at first, we quickly realized it didn’t solve all of the legal hurdles we faced and was not the right choice. After we left, LegitMix pulled together all of the cheer music people who don’t know how to license music properly, and presented its loophole  service (for all intents and purposes) as an legitimate industry solution, which is very misleading. That’s my opinion.

The only beef I have with LegitMix is that the company’s blog falsely claims that covers do not pay artists, but licensed covers pay mechanical royalties for every copy distributed, as well as public performance royalties. I am dumbfounded as to why they do not consider the writers of the music and lyrics as artists.

I’m not against LegitMix, I just know it doesn’t and cannot grant the rights the EPs need.

Let’s Get Technical. What Are The Licenses?

Here are super-over-generalized answers for clarity:

  • Master Recording License – The license to use a recording that someone else made.
  • Mechanical License – The license that is paid every time a copy of the song is made, whether the original recording or a cover.
  • Synchronization License – The license that allows the licensee to synchronize the audio with visual media.
  • Performance License – The license to allow music to be performed for an audience at an event, club, business, restaurant, etc.
  • Blanket License – A flat annual fee that grants a set of rights for a set of songs for a set of specific uses.
  • Print License – The license obtained to print sheet music. (not used in the AllStar industry)

Can’t We Get A Blanket License For The Recordings Like Other Industries?

No, because we’re creating derivatives and the 4 major labels we spoke with have no intention of entering the incredibly-complex legal warzone of “blanket derivatives”. To my understanding, an agreement between all involved parties (copyright owners of the recordings, lyrics, music) would never, ever be reached.

I Want To Ask You A Question

Sure, I’ll try my best to answer it! Please send an email to info@cheersounds.com and put “Licensing Question” in the subject for our filtering purposes.

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Four Thoughts All Cheerleaders Should Think Before Taking the Mat

Nationals. CheerSport. Worlds. Summit. For Cheerleaders, the early months of each year are all about these prestigious events. After all, it is on their stages, that they’ve prepared to perform, it is among their athletes, that they’ve trained to compete, and it is on their podiums, that the best are crowned Champions. With only two and half minutes to leave a lasting impression, it is crucial that cheerleaders hit their stunts, stick their tumbling, and nail their choreography, all while putting their best cheer face forward. The stakes are high, but so is the reward; and every person in that auditorium is vying for the same title. It is the most exciting time of the year, and also the most nerve-racking, and while every athlete undoubtedly feels the pressure, it is the athletes that maintain a positive attitude that tend to find victory. Our trick to staying calm, cool and confident? Thinking these 4 thoughts before taking the stage:

1. Hard work pays off. You’ve spent countless hours training for this moment. Let these two and half minutes be a culmination of all the hard work that you’ve put into being the best cheerleader that you can be.

2. You are not out there alone. You are about to share the stage with the best support system that you could have: your teammates, your best friends, your family. You may never compete with this group of athletes again; make it special. Feed off each other’s energy, and reach new heights together.

3. Whatever happens, make the most of it. This is an experience that you’ll want to remember for the rest of your life. Take it all in: the lights, the audience, the exhilarating feeling of performing. Savor every second, relish every feeling.

4. There is no such thing as losing so long as you are doing what you love. You don’t cheer for rings, or trophies, or titles. You cheer because it is what you love to do, and that is enough in and of itself.

Cheerleading is my love, passion and life:

From your friends here at CheerSounds: kick some butt, and have fun doing it! Good Luck <3

Cheerleader Confessions & Challenged Stereotypes

 We’ve all heard the expression “don’t judge a book by its cover,” and these cheerleader confessions prove just that!

1. Cheerleader’s have beauty but not brains. Of course this is not true, and if you ask me- whoever came up with this had no brains. It is so naive to assume that just because someone participates in a certain activity that they are less intelligent than someone who participates in another activity. Not to mention, it definitely takes brains to remember routines, learn intricate choreography, stunts and tumbling passes and to keep up with schoolwork while spending multiple hours a week at practice.

Why is it such a shock to my coach that I'm in honors and to my teacher that I'm a cheerleader. Yes it's possible to be smart and a cheerleader.

2. Cheerleader’s are promiscuous. I remember when I first told my mom that I was going to join the school’s cheerleading squad, she tried to convince me otherwise. Why? Because cheerleader’s have “bad reputations” and are known to be “promiscuous.” Obviously this is just a stereotype, but she was afraid that other people who believed this stereotype would think these things about me. We came to the conclusion that if people want to think like that then THEY are the problem, not me. You should never keep yourself from doing something you love because of what other people may think.

People expect me to be the stereotypical slut cheerleader.  In reality, I've never even kissed anyone before.

3. All male cheerleaders are gay. Here’s another cliched stereotype that should be outdated. As a society, we need to stop assuming that particular interests, hobbies and behaviors are determined by sexual orientation. Not to mention, who cares if that male cheerleader is gay or isn’t gay? What does sexuality have to do with his ability to perform cheerleading skills? Nothing!

People always question whether or not male cheerleaders are gay- my question is, why does it matter?

4. Cheerleader’s are happy and chipper. Sure, cheerleader’s are known to be enthusiastic and energetic, after all, their origins come from pumping up spectators at sporting events. That being said, cheerleaders, like all other people, are susceptible to emotional problems and social anxieties. Don’t assume that because someone is smiling, they are happy. Or, that because someone can stand in front of a crowd, they don’t have insecurities.

College starts Monday. I'm that socially awkward I don't want anyone to approach me to even make friends.  And I'm supposed to be the bubbly cheerleader.

5. Cheerleader’s always date the quarterback. Wrong! There are no specifications on who you should and should not date. You build relationships with people who you are interested in, not people that you are “supposed” to be with. Love is not determined by social standards, it is a raw emotion that is so much deeper than stereotypes and appearances. Be with the person who makes you happy.

I'm the head cheerleader at school and I'm dating a "nerd" and people say that, I'm using him, he's not cute or people make fun of me when in reality I love him a I look past looks and I would never use him

The moral of the story is: don’t believe stereotypes! They are called stereotypes for a reason, because they are generalizations about a group of people and 99% of the time they are not true 🙂

Win a Visit from RACHEL PLATTEN to YOUR GYM!

Yes, the Rachel Platten: singer of this summer’s hottest hit single Fight Song.

So how do you do it? You enter the #MYFIGHTSONG contest presented by CheerSounds and Sony Records.

To enter, simply make a video of you and your team performing to Fight Song and post it to Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #MYFIGHTSONG. Rachel and the CheerSounds team will then review submissions and pick our fave to win a visit from Rachel to their gym.

Check out the video below for more information plus a special message from Rachel herself:

So what are you waiting for?

Get your submissions in today!

And don’t forget to include the hashtag #MYFIGHTSONG

We can’t wait to see your videos 😀

Things All Cheerleaders Can Relate To: Cheering Everywhere

As cheerleaders, we know that cheering is by no means limited to the realms of the gym or the arena: we cheer where we want, when we want. Sometimes it serves as a means to an end and sometimes we just feel the urge to showcase our skills. We don’t see location as a burden, but rather, something to take advantage of and conquer. You think we can’t throw up a stunt in the middle of the grocery store? Think again. Think we won’t tumble across the beach? We will do that too. Today’s cheerleaders see the world as their stomping ground, and they prove that there are no boundaries to doing what they love.

Don’t believe me? Take a look at these fierce cheerleaders flaunting their finesse just about everywhere.

1. The beach is a long time favorite when it comes to cheering outside the gym.

From tumbling… 








to stunting…










to full blown routine running…








the beach is a classic go-to location for cheerleaders.

2. Like the beach, the pool is another favorite location of cheerleaders to practice.

With the girls…












and with the guys too…

pools make for a sweet spot to exhibit our favorite cheer moves.

3. Cheering at the store is probably something that emerged as need-based practice.

Throw up a stunt to reach items on the top shelf…











Show off your flexibility and your recently purchased munchies…









Multitask by practicing at the mall: stunt and shop!










Cheering at the store may have been peculiar a few years ago, but today it is just another place where you can find cheerleaders using their skills.

4. Travelling is fun but cliche tourist photos are not. Cheerleaders have solved this problem by showcasing their talent while posing for vacation photos.

A cheerleader’s spin on the classic leaning tower of Pisa photo…












Sure the Eiffel tower is cool but it’s much cooler with a one man mirroring it…










Don’t have your stunt group around? Flaunt your flexibility…









Cheerleader’s bring cheer to destinations around the world!

5. Cheerleaders love to make special occasions that much more special by incorporating cheering…

At Christmas…








At Prom…









Even at their own weddings…












No occasion is off limits!

As you can see, cheerleading is acceptable anywhere and everywhere…



Where is the craziest place that you have cheered? Let me know in the comments section or via email: melissa@cheersounds.com!

Don’t forget to LIKE and SHARE this article 🙂

5 Thoughts All Cheerleaders Have @ Practice After Break

We’ve all been there: that first practice back after a long break. Suddenly all those skipped workouts and late night Taco Bell runs hit you like a ton of bricks. Okay, so you’re a bit out of shape, no big deal. You’ll get back into the swing of things, you always do…

but not before having these five customary thoughts:

1. When you initially arrive at practice and realize that you are not the least bit prepared.

I shouldn’t have eaten so much pizza.

2. When your coach tells you to do some crazy stunt and you’ve only been back for like, 5 minutes.

You want me to what?

3. When you cheer face extra hard to divert attention away from your lackluster performance.


4. When you think practice is over but then your coach says it’s time to condition.

You are so evil.

5. When you are a hot mess by the end of practice because you are so exhausted.

Can. Not. Function. Any. Longer.

But despite being sore and out of shape, you are still, as always, happy to be back doing what you love: CHEER <3

Does this describe your first post-break practice? Let me know with likes, comments, and shares!

If you are feeling extra chatty, shoot me an email at melissa@cheersounds.com 🙂

Upgrade your Mix with Original Music

Cheerleading music has undergone a series of changes over the past few decades. One of the most obvious changes is the use of original content. Gone are the days of generic movie quotes and trite expressions. We are now in an era where original content is crucial to your routine.

The modern voice over is one method of incorporating original content, but as teams crave more content that sets them apart, the demand for more originality, more creativity, and more innovation increases.

To satisfy said demand, CheerSounds offers 100% original music tracks: written, performed and produced by the members of our CheerSounds team. The best part? These tracks are all about YOU. Custom lyrics + Custom music= A custom anthem that is uniquely you.

Our music will upgrade your routine by disrupting the status quo- rendering your team instant recognition. While your competitors will have mixes that contain known songs, you will have a mix that incorporates music that no one has ever heard before, not to mention, an anthem that tells everyone about how awesome your team is- making the judges and the other teams immediately take notice. Plus, these tracks were designed specifically for cheerleading competitions, meaning they are already the style that judges want to hear.

Ultimately, our songs are reflections of cheerleading and what it means to be a cheerleader: they are fierce, fun and catchy anthems that set the mood for your routine and leave a lasting impression at every competition. Our original music is intended for teams that exude confidence and are serious about competing. Why? Because they demand attention. With our original music, your team is guaranteed to steal the show.

A Tribute to the Father of Modern Cheerleading

Lawrence “Herkie” Herkimer



If you are at all familiar with cheerleading, you have undoubtedly seen a herkie, if you are at all familiar with the cheer industry, you have undoubtedly heard the name Lawrence “Herkie” Herkimer, the founder of that classic jump, but more importantly, the father of modern cheerleading.

Herkimer was a pioneer and an innovator, an icon and a legend, a role model and a hero, and without him, cheerleading would not be the sport that we know and love today.

Herkie dedicated his life to cheerleading and that is why it is with deepest sadness to report that Lawrence Herkimer has passed. In order to honor such a pivotal figure in the cheer world, we have written a tribute, with the help of Billy Smith, as a celebration of Lawrence Herkimer’s life and legacy.

Lawrence Herkimer began his cheer legacy in 1948 when he founded the National Cheerleaders Association. As a former collegiate cheerleader, he believed that cheerleaders should have the opportunity to practice prior to the start of the academic year, thus leading to the debut of his first cheerleading camp at Sam Houston State University. That first year the camp boasted fifty three participants; by the following year, the enrollment had increased to three hundred and fifty. From that point forward, Herkie devoted himself to cheerleading; trading his teaching job for a career in cheer and subsequently changing the sport forever. Herkie’s list of successes is long and well deserved, with some of his most prominent being, and in addition to those previously stated, the founding of the first cheer uniform company, the Cheerleading Supply Company, the creation of the spirit stick and the rich tradition that came of it, and the invention of the iconic cheer accessory, pom pons. Herkie’s greatest success, however, was making cheerleading more than a sport, he made it a culture; something that currently unites millions of people with shared values, philosophies and traditions.


Herkie is my Hero!

“Herkie was 53 years old when I was hired at the age of 20 to work for NCA. Now I am 56 and just amazed at how much he had accomplished as the pioneering founder of our cheer industry by this age. He and Dorothy, his beautiful wife, were visionaries who created an industry that thousands around the World now call their career. I was hired in 1980 and was lucky enough to have visited with him and Dorothy at their Preston home in Dallas. During that time of NCA, we were invited to a staff dinner during work week in their backyard. The hospitality and love that the Herkimer’s displayed to all of us was the foundation to our love of NCA and the philosophies of cheerleading that are still the foundation to all gyms.

To think about the their innovation of the Pom Pon, creating cheer uniform-catalogs and starting summer camps, that still teach thousands each summer, is amazing and inspiring.

Now, in 2015, as my husband and I renovate our newest home, the former Herkimer home (1958-72) that was also the NCA office and shipping center of uniforms (garage), I am humbled to be in this space which was the home of my hero and friend.  We have put a famous ‘spirit stick’ in the wall above the fireplace so the ‘Spirit of Herkie’ will forever be included with this home.”

Billy Smith

NCA Staff 1980-86 & Marketing Director for NCA Summer Camp supplies 1989-93.

Owner of Spirit Celebration Inc.


Missed but Never Forgotten

We are forever appreciative and inspired by everything that Lawrence Herkie Herkimer has done for our sport. He was, and will continue to be, one of the most influential figures in the cheer world due to his enthusiasm, dedication and unwavering love for cheerleading.

Herkie gave cheerleading its heart, and for that, he will always be at the heart of cheerleading.

Rest in Peace, Herkie. We love you.





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Meet Emerson: Three Year Old Cheer Prodigy!

If you aren’t following @little_flyer_1 on Instagram yet, you are seriously missing out. At just three years old, Emerson is already a seasoned cheerleader; mastering stunts that take most of us years to learn! But don’t take our word for it: watch for yourself as she effortlessly and fearlessly flies through the air! Emerson is one fierce little girl who deserves some serious respect for her skills. Did we mention her stunt partner is her dad? How cute is that?!

Get to know the pint-sized prodigy:

1. This is Emerson. According to the her IG she “just turned 3 years old and love[s] to stunt with [her] daddy.”

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We know, could she be ANY cuter?          


2. This is Emerson stunting with her dad. 

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They make a perfect pair!


3. They can literally throw up a perfect one man ANYWHERE.

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A photo posted by @little_flyer_1 on

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We weren’t kidding when we said anywhere.


4. They are quite possibly the most talented father-daughter duo ever. *Press Play*

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A video posted by @little_flyer_1 on

A video posted by @little_flyer_1 on

A video posted by @little_flyer_1 on

A video posted by @little_flyer_1 on

How does so much talent fit in such a tiny body?!


5. Did I mention that Emerson’s mom is uber talented as well? *Press Play*

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6. Just wait for it… *Press Play*

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Ugh that hair flip gets us every time.


7. Speaking of hair… Emerson’s hair game is on point too.

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Poof perfection.


8. And can we talk about her practice outfits for a second?

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She’s fabulous and she knows it.


9. Even her regular outfits are better than most people’s.

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Apparently, her body is too. Look at those abs!


10. And we love how she’s sweet but sassy too.


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Look at that ‘tude!


11. Basically we just love everything about her and we can’t wait to see all of the incredible things that she accomplishes in the future!

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You go girl!