Hip, hip, hooray: Cheer class held on Fort Bragg
Kiera Patrick, 4, completes a backflip at a cheer/stunting class, Feb. 28, at Maholic Child Development Center. The class, offered through SKIES Unlimited, teaches proper cheer technique and incorporates dance skills.

FORT BRAGG, N.C. - Ricki Souser has two daughters -- Cheyenne is a flyer and Madison likes to base, said Ricki.

The girls, ages 7 and 5 respectively, are members of the All American Cheer team, which practices Wednesdays, from 4 to 4:45 p.m., at Maholic Child Development Center.

The class is offered through the SKIES Unlimited program, designed to compliment youth experiences as military and Department of Defense dependents.

"They just like to cheer," said Souser, who also cheered as a youngster while growing up in California.

Mariellen Patrick said her daughter, Kiera, 4, also loves to cheer.
"She picks it up very fast . . . she gets better every week," Patrick said.

Tiffanie Woods has been a cheer instructor for 15 years.
Not only do youth learn proper technique, tumbling, motions, dance and stunting, the class also prepares the students for competition.

Of four competitions this season, the youth have previously had two, second place and one, fifth place finish, Woods said.

"They've done wonderfully. They impress me every day," said Woods, who explained that competition is good for students. "(It's) letting them experience the wins and losses."

Maximum capacity for the class is 12 students, but a junior class is also offered for youth ages 7 to 12, as well as a senior class for youth 13 and over.

Kiera seems to love cheering.
"It's my favorite -- dancing and cartwheels," she beamed.

The class is a positive outlet, said Paul Driessen, an instructional program specialist who helps facilitate SKIES Unlimited. "Everyone who is in the class has the intention of competing," Driessen said. "They are a representation of Fort Bragg."

The youth, many of whom are the children of Soldiers, also have the opportunity to learn a lesson that bodes well for their parents.

"They get to identify as a unit and lose a bit of self, so that they can form the team," said Driessen.
For more information about SKIES Unlimited, visit www.fortbraggmwr.com.

Page last updated Fri March 15th, 2013 at 00:00