LANCASTER – Fans at the Los Angeles SLAM home game Sunday were treated to a special halftime performance by Dazzler Cheer.
Proud parents with cameras in hand rushed to the sidelines as more than 100 cheerleaders rushed the court.
Girls as young as three-years-old kept pace with teenagers in an athletic routine that included kicks, tosses and tumbles, and ending to rousing applause from all in the gym.
“It was just amazing to see everything come together for us,” said owner and Coach Jennifer Elizondo. “The performance was awesome!”
Elizondo, who has been cheerleading since 1994 and coaching since 2003, opened Dazzler Cheer in September 2010 to offer technique training and competitive cheerleading skills to youths in the Antelope Valley.
The group has since grown to 163 members on eight different teams, which are divided by age, from preschool to high school.
Elizondo said she started the family-run organization to dispel some of the myths about cheerleading and to allow young girls an avenue for becoming involved in their community.
“In my mind cheer is a sport, so I wanted the youth to learn more about the sport of cheer and where it came from rather than when they get to high school and it’s just all about the pretty skirts and the boyfriends,” said Elizondo. “I wanted it to be a bigger deal than that and the girls to understand teamwork and team spirit.”
“We took first place in the State Championship competition last year,” said Elizondo. “We’ve taken first place in the Lancaster Christmas Parade the last two years in a row, we took first place in the Palmdale Christmas Parade, and we have multiple trophies for every competition that we have been to in the last 16 months since we opened.”
Elizondo said she balances her group’s winning slate with plenty of community service and involvement.
“We’ve done food drives for SAVES in Palmdale, we donated Thanksgiving baskets of food, and we do lots of other things to get the girls involved so they know it’s not just about them winning,” she said. “We’re here for fun not for first, but we take first place along the way because that’s how we encourage the girls and how we get them spirited and involved.”
In October 2011, the group held a barbecue fundraiser and raffled 48 of its trophies to raise money for a family in need.
“Dazzler Cheer and all the parents were able to pitch in and help out one of our fellow cheerleading families that were going through some hard times,” Elizondo said. “We still have plenty of trophies at the gym up on our wall.”
Dazzler Cheer on Jan. 3 moved into a brand new 2,900 square foot gym located just west of Sierra Hwy, off of Ave O in Palmdale. The facility features 22 foot tall ceilings and 30 feet of mirrors so the students can watch themselves during practice.
The group holds registration for new members every quarter and will be holding its next registration in the first week of May. Spots are filled on a first-come, first-serve basis.
For more information contact 661-965-6913, or visit www.dazzlercheer.com.