Cheerleading camp exposes young girls to the basics

DeNea Crowell ends the camp with a prayer, thanking the Lord for keeping everyone safe from injury during practice.

Cheerleading camp exposes young girls to the basics
August 11
04:30 2016

Photo by Timothy Ramsey



Cheerleaders are an important addition to many sports teams.  They keep the home crowd energized and give a lift to the team when they are down.

DeNea Crowell, a former cheerleader at North Forsyth High School, is holding a camp at some of the area recreation centers to give girls a taste of what it’s like to be a cheerleader.

Crowell was born and raised in Winston-Salem and has been cheering since age 6.  She has cheered locally at the Winston Lake YMCA along with the Pop Warner league with the Packers. She went on to be a cheerleader at North Carolina Central University.

She has been a counselor at various rec centers in Winston-Salem and Durham.  She has done a camp previously in Durham but wanted to bring the camp here to give local young people a chance to learn what she knows.

“The reason why I wanted to teach cheerleading to the children is because I love and enjoy children and I feel like there is no point in perfecting a craft if you can’t teach it to someone else,” said. Crowell.  “I love seeing the growth of the girls. Some girls come to the camp and have never cheered before and some have, but watching each individual girl come out of their shell and perfect their technique just makes my day.”

Crowell is currently holding camps at the 14th Street and W.R. Anderson rec centers.  She stated initially she wants to go over techniques with the girls to give them a proper foundation.  She then will transition over to motion, which is the base for every cheer or dance.  Once the girls perfect the basics, they will learn jumps such as tucks, pikes and toe touches to name a few.

The girls will also learn choreography and dance routines but will not learn tumbling or stunting, as that is a little too advanced for the girls at their skill level, Crowell said.  Everything she is teaching the girls will all be on display at the showcase she is holding at the end of the three-week camp.  She will teach each group of girls a routine, which they will perform in front of the other campers, staff and parents.

The girls participating in the camp really enjoy learning something new along with enjoying each other’s company.

“What I like about the camp is that we can all have fun and work together,” said A’yana Butts.

Talia Edmond added, “I like the personalities we have. We work together, we try hard and we give 100 percent to do our best.  We all like to work together as a team.”

Crowell stated that she would love to hold a camp every year going forward. Because she is seeing the girls become more disciplined and able to work together as a team, it has been more rewarding then she ever thought.

“The overall point of me doing this camp is so that they can feel inspired, inspired to step outside of their shell and perform in front of other people and inspired to be leaders on their team in whatever sport they play,” she said.

Crowell said next year she wants to include more recreation centers in her camp and bring in a few more individuals to help her coach.

The camp will run until Aug. 20. For information about the camp, contact DeNea Crowell at 

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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