Vikings News
News Photo
Dance & Cheer - Fri, Mar. 10, 2017

By Chad Waller, Director of Athletics Communications and Sports Media

Watch National Championship Live
Championship Press Book – PDF
Championship Information
Historical promo - PDF

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – History will be made March 10-11 in Oklahoma City, Okla., as the first-ever NAIA National Championships will be conducted in the sports of Competitive Cheer and Competitive Dance (CCD). Oklahoma City University serves as host of this exciting event. The NAIA is the only collegiate athletics association to offer a national championship in these sports. 

Routines begin with the preliminary round of cheer competition at 4:30 p.m. CST on Friday in Abe Lemons Arena. Dance preliminary competition is scheduled to begin at 6:45 p.m. On Saturday, the finals in each of the two sports take place at 10 a.m. (cheer) and 12:15 p.m. (dance) with the awards ceremony set to go at 2:25 p.m.

The championship field is comprised of eight qualifying group team champions (four dance, four cheer), which won their respective qualifier group event, held Feb. 24-25 at four campus locations. In addition to that group, 16 at-large berths filled out the 24-team national championships. At-large berths were awarded to teams with the highest qualifying team score amongst the entire field competing at all four qualifiers. In all, 12 teams will compete in the Dance competition and 12 programs will participate in the Cheer competition.

Adding the 24th and 25th national championship sports to the NAIA line-up is an exciting time for the student-athletes, coaches, teams, institutions and the Association. The evolution of the sport began in 2009 when the NAIA-CCD Executive Coaches Committee was formed. Since that time, a Coaches' Manual was published and the first-ever CCD rule book was created. The national championship status became official at the 75th annual NAIA National Convention (April 16, 2016) when membership approved the motion.

"Adding Competitive Cheer and Dance as an NAIA Championship Sport has been an extremely exciting thing," said Lynsey Payne, Baker University (Kan.) head coach and CCD Executive Committee Member. "Many schools are receiving more funding and better scholarships, and student athletes can now be recognized for their achievements both on and off the competition floor and mat.

It has been exciting to be a part of this too, the coaches and staff at the NAIA literally wrote the rulebook; no one else is doing anything like what we are. Having a NAIA National Championship with a qualification system adds a higher level of competition than you might get at some other events we have attended in the past."

Competitive Cheer and Dance is the first to earn national championship status within the NAIA in a span of 22 years – NAIA Women's Golf became a championship sport prior to the spring of 1995.

Prior to national championships status, CCD showed signs of success at the National Invitational level for a two-year period. Martin Methodist (Tenn.) won the 2016 National Invitational championship in cheer, while St. Ambrose (Iowa) took home the National Invitational hardware in dance.

2017 Competitive Cher National Championship Qualifiers
Teams listed alphabetically

Teams Qualification

Bethel (Kan.)

At – Large Bid

Concordia (Mich.)

At – Large Bid

Davenport (Mich.)

Northeast Qualifier Champion

Indiana Wesleyan

At – Large Bid

Lindenwood-Belleville (Ill.)

At – Large Bid

Lourdes (Ohio)

At – Large Bid

MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.)

Northwest Qualifier Champion

Missouri Valley

Southeast Qualifier Champion

Oklahoma City

Southwest Qualifier Champion

St. Ambrose (Iowa)

At – Large Bid

Saint Francis (Ind.)

At – Large Bid

St. Gregory's (Okla.)

At – Large Bid

 

2017 Competitive Dance National Championship Qualifiers
Teams listed alphabetically

Teams Qualification

Aquinas (Mich.)

Northeast Qualifier Champion

Baker (Kan.)

At – Large Bid

Central Methodist (Mo.)

At – Large Bid

Grand View (Iowa)

Southeast Qualifier Champion

Lindenwood-Belleville (Ill.)

At – Large Bid

Midland (Neb.)

Northwest Qualifier Champion

Missouri Baptist

At – Large Bid

Morningside (Iowa)

At – Large Bid

Oklahoma City

Southwest Qualifier Champion

Siena Heights (Mich.)

At – Large Bid

St. Ambrose (Iowa)

At – Large Bid

Stephens (Mo.)

At – Large Bid

 
 
Cheerleading