- Kentucky is home to the top three cheerleading squads.
- College cheerleaders compete in several divisions, based on the size of the school, including Division IA, Division I, and Division II.
- Basketball games comprise the venue that provides the highest visibility for cheerleading squads.
#1 University of Louisville
During the last 20 years the Cardinals’ squad has been the dominant force in major competitions. Louisville has won National Cheerleading Association (NCA) championships in 13 different years, most recently in 2008. The team is notable for its precision gymnastics and contemporary music.
Here is a video of the Louisville cheerleaders’ championship coed performance at the 2009 NCA championships.
Videos 319-324 from this same gallery show additional University of Louisville performances.
#2 Morehead State University
This small school, also in Kentucky, gave an outstanding performance at the 2009 Universal Cheerleaders Association (UCA) national championships, winning the Division I coed cheering division and finishing second in the all-girl cheer division. Coach Tony Nash also serves as a coach for Team USA cheerleaders in world competitions. The school has won UCA championships repeatedly over the last 20 years.
Video 141 from the following gallery shows the school’s championship performance in coed cheer in 2009:
#3 University of Kentucky
In terms of overall performance throughout the history of competitive cheerleading, the Kentucky Wildcats have a record that is second to none. The university has won 17 national cheerleading titles. It is especially known for its performances at basketball games, as the University of Kentucky has the winningest basketball program among major NCAA colleges.
Video 296 from the following gallery shows Kentucky’s winning performance at the 2009 UCA Division IA competition: http://www.varsity.com/event.aspx?event=1105
#4 University of Southern California
Trojan cheerleaders are popular even at the stadiums of visiting teams, because members of the USC squad always seem to have those good looks associated with Los Angeles movie stars. But a USC cheerleader is more than just a pretty face. Sports Illustrated magazine named the squad the best in the country. The squad’s proud tradition goes back to 1967, and today the squad’s members are still known as the Song Leaders. Their cardinal-and-gold pompons make them easy to spot along the sidelines at football games.
Vide 376 from the following gallery shows some USC cheerleaders in action in a 2009 dance competition:
#5 California State University, Long Beach
Among smaller universities, Long Beach State has often challenged Morehead State for dominance this decade. The team has won in both cheering and dance divisions several times at the UCA/UDA National Championships, including the dance division in 2009.
Video 29 from the following gallery shows the squad’s championship performance in the dance division in 2009: http://www.varsity.com/event.aspx?event=1105
#6 University of Alabama
Finishing second to Kentucky at the 2009 UCA national championships in the coed division showed that the Alabama Crimson Tide continues to be a force to be reckoned with on the national cheerleading scene. The school has finished in the top five often during the last decade.
Video 249 from the following gallery shows Alabama’s performance in the 2009 UCA finals:
As an electronic scoreboards continue to light up.