New Ignite Athletics cheerleading gym now accepting registrations

New Ignite Athletics cheerleading gym now accepting registrations

In northeast Colorado typically high school is the only opportunity youth have if they want to be a cheerleader, but that’s about to change. Ignite Athletics, a new cheerleading combo gym specializing in sideline, foundational and competitive cheerleading is now accepting registrations for ages 2 years up to adult and will begin offering classes in March.

For those wanting to learn more about Ignite, an open house will be held Sunday, Feb. 20, from noon to 2 p.m. at 15950 Highway 14, Unit 1, in Sterling. During the open house there will be door prizes, giveaways and finger foods, and families are invited to check out the gym and meet coaches Kylee Davidson, Krystal Frick and Megan Blair.

Davidson and Frick are both natives of Sterling and met while cheering together at Sterling High School. Opening a cheer gym has been a dream of theirs for about seven years and now it’s coming to fruition.

Davidson’s cheerleading career began as a gymnast, first at Melissa’s School of Dance and Gymnastics and then competing for Country Gymnastics and SHS, winning the state title in floor exercise in 2005 and accompanying her high school team to four state team titles. In addition to gymnastics, she also cheered and went to the CHSAA state competition three years in a row.

After high school, Davidson attended the University of Northern Colorado, competing on their DIAA Cheerleading Team and attending the ultimate cheerleading competition in Daytona Beach, Fla., the College Nationals. She then went on to try out for the Denver Nuggets Cheerleading/Stunt Team, where she spent one season performing for the team.

Frick lettered six times in cheerleading before graduating from SHS, ending her high school career with 10 letters overall, and went to state with her team three times. She continued her interest in athletics after high school by attending IBMC, in Fort Collins.

Blair grew up in Watseka, Ill., and moved to Sterling in 2014. When she learned about the cheerleading gym that her friend Frick was looking at starting with Davidson, she was anxious to join.

Blair started dance at age three and cheerleading at age five with sideline cheer for a youth football program, cheering on her brother. That was followed by competitive cheerleading starting at age 11, which she was quite successful at, winning each year in area competitions in middle and high school. She has taught dance for the last 17 years, including while attending Southern Illinois University.

Joining them is Alex Bandy, who will be teaching the little kids.

All four coaches are CPR certified and USA Cheer certified, which is equivalent to someone in a professional field who is certified through DORA (Department of Regulatory Agencies).

“It’s really like a one-stop-shop,” Davidson said about the new gym. “The reason we’re doing that is because Sterling and the surrounding communities have never had a focused company on cheerleading and so for example, when Krystal and I were cheerleaders in high school, that’s literally the only time you get trained to be a cheerleader. You maybe went to the high school cheerleading camp and did like a halftime show, but you never had any formal training. So, we are bringing that to town because there has been so much interest and want for it.”

Classes will be offered for ages two to open level, which is a competition team open to all ages but does require skill level. The cost is $50 per month and there is a one-time annual sign-up fee of $35 due upon registration.

“Realistically, we want to target everybody. There are cheerleaders who don’t want to compete, who only want to do sideline cheerleading and really get the crowd pepped up and ready to go for games and we need cheerleaders like that, and then there’s the flip side of cheerleading, where you want to go like UCA competitions or USA competitions or NCA competitions,” Davidson said.

While skills are required for the open level, there are also classes for beginners.

“I think people think they have to be trained to be in cheerleading, I think that they think they have to come with something to offer and that’s not the case here. The case here is that we know that there is a need in the community for this and we want to start people young. There is absolutely no need for background or knowledge in cheerleading, because we will teach that,” Davidson said.  “We don’t want people to think that they have to be at some certain skill level to be a part of this, it’s literally for everyone; you just have to work for it.”

One of Ignite’s goals is to get people to see that cheerleading is a sport.

“When you look at cheerleading people think just short skirts, hair up in a bow, high V, low V, rah-rah-rah, dance and it’s not. There is a side of it that portrays that no doubt, but what we’re trying to show you is that it’s an actual sport and it was deemed a sport in 2021 by the International Olympic Committee,” Davidson said.

They also want to transition the thought process that cheerleading is only something for the high school level and instead make cheerleading available to younger ages, with sideline cheer in middle school moving into high school and sideline foundational skill learning happening at Ignite’s facility even before middle school.

The beauty of the cheer gym is that no matter what school students are cheering for, when they come to Ignite they are all one team.

“We’re hopeful to get in with the college someday as well and maybe not make it a part of the athletic department right away, but make it a group activity type thing or a club sport,” Davidson said. “We think that it would keep more people here and gain more traction and population and improve the census at NJC, because Junior college cheerleading is absolutely huge, college cheerleading is absolutely huge.”

Another reason they wanted to open the gym is to provide another outlet for kids, because as Frick pointed out recreational sports are limited and the skill level offered with those is limited, “so having something that will support the community too, is important.”

Not only is cheerleading a good athletic outlet, it’s also a good bonding experience as well. Teammates become a family and they must learn to build a strong trust in one another.

“For me, I was in the air and if I looked down those people below me were all I had,” Blair recalled of her cheerleading days. “The trust you have to instill when you’re being thrown in the air by your squad is insane.”

Davidson stressed that they never want to take business away from others; they believe that competition is good to have in town. But, they want to support the community by providing a range of athletics from group dance or cheerleading dance to tumbling and stunting.

Frick noted they are flexible with their availability of classes. If group practice doesn’t work for you, they also offer private lessons and will schedule those around the parents’ needs.

Along with regular classes, they will also be offering a community class on the first Saturday of every month, to allow moms and dads to stunt with their children or friends to come and able to come and formulate a group stunt and have fun.

“It’s really for the community to come and see what cheerleading is all about,” Davidson said.

For those registered with Ignite there is no charge and for those not registered the cost is $10 per head.

Ignite also offers competition routine construction, where they will assist surrounding high school teams with developing and creating a routine, and they are planning to host a competition this November or December, in Sterling, which they will be inviting surrounding high school cheerleading teams to attend. They hope to make it an annual event.

“It will be fun to bring people to the area and get to know Sterling a little bit better,” Frick said.

The deadline to register for classes is Feb. 21 and the first day of classes will be March 1. To register you can visit Ignite’s website,, call 307-247-4678, or email

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