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WCU Cheerleader Lacey Canada Blogs about Preparing for NCA National Competition

March 28, 2010

Cullowhee, N.C. - Lacey Canada is a senior Communications major from Chapin, S.C., and is a member of the Western Carolina cheerleading squad. WCU's Cheerleaders will compete in the National Cheerleaders Association (NCA)/National Dance Association (NDA) Collegiate Cheer & Dance Championships in Daytona Beach, Fla., April 8-11 ... Lacey will provide a series of blogs that will provide insight as the squad prepares for and travels to the national competition through

Hi, my name is Lacey Canada; I am a senior and a fourth-year returner on the Western Carolina University cheerleading squad. Being a part of the WCU cheerleading team over the past three years has been a great experience. As basketball season came to an end, most people believed that our season would likewise conclude. However, this year when basketball season came to a close, our "season" picked up double time.

This year, we - the WCU Cheerleaders - will again travel to Daytona Beach, Fla. to compete at the NCA Collegiate Championships April 7-11.

It has been a long road to prepare for nationals. Our season started last April with team tryouts. This is where we found our very talented 2009-10 team. As summer approached, we were all given summer workouts to help prepare us for our upcoming season.

On June 26-28, we were all back in Cullowhee for our first clinic, with our second clinic held in early August. Our summer preparation paid off when we attended the NCA Collegiate Camp in Myrtle Beach, S.C., on August 9-12. This is where we earned our bid to nationals.

Once school started, our focus somewhat shifted as we were in full swing for football season. Cheering on the Catamounts on Saturday's both at home and on the road is something we all enjoy. In mid- November, our focus again shifted as we finished up football season and started on the run with basketball. It was a great season cheering on both the men's and women's squad, culminating with the Southern Conference basketball tournaments in Charlotte.



Since the final whistle from basketball, we began to concentrate heavily on our preparation for nationals. Our practice schedule has picked up tremendously; the weight conditioning got harder and longer. During basketball season, after a week day game, we would head to Reid for a late night practice. Once basketball ended our practices have become more frequent, including two-a-days, which most people are familiar with from football - but, we, too, have endured the grueling practice

Here is a look at typical weekly practice schedule as we prepare for the national competition:

Monday: Reid 8:45 pm - 11:00 pm
Tuesday: Weights 4:45 for about 45 minutes to an hour
Wednesday: Reid Open Gym 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Thursday: Ramsey Center to run 6:30, Practice in Reid 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
Friday: Weights 4:45 for about 45 minutes to an hour
Saturday: Reid 11:00 am; break for lunch at 1pm; Reid 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Sunday: Reid 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Our team is made up of very talented cheerleaders. We have six senior leaders; four juniors; three sophomores; and eight freshmen. The seniors are especially ready for nationals as this has been a goal of ours over the past three years. We have all competed at some level. However, only one of us has ever attended nationals. This a new experience for us and we are more than excited to get down there and see for ourselves what it's really like.

As is with every sport, you practice as if you are performing. However, we all know being in front of a crowd completely changes the atmosphere. We will be performing our national's routine on April 4th at 7:00 pm in Reid Gym. We would like to invite all of you to attend - the bigger the crowed the better. We would greatly appreciate your support!

For more information about the debut of the WCU Cheerleaders' Nationals routine on April 4th:
Catamount Cheerleaders to Debut Nationals Routine on April 4