There's probably no better locale for a cheerleading competition, an event that's generally full of perky preps, than a suburban mall that pulls in the same demographic. That's why the location of today's New Spirit Cheer/Dance Championship -- a fenced-in, bleacher-equipped space in a parking lot at Park Meadows shopping center -- is so perfect. The bounce-a-thon will pit more than seventy teams, representing both academic and dancing schools from all over the state, against one another. Participants ranging in age from "mini pee-wee" (second grade and under) to late teens will test their cheering, pompom and jazz-dance skills.
Suzanne Newman, a former Highlands Ranch cheerleading coach, started the annual competition nine years ago. Newman wanted to give kids a chance to perform for a panel of expert judges and a large crowd in a low-pressure environment.
"Most haven't been in front of thousands of people, and these kids were so nervous they were throwing up," Newman says of other contests. Still, the skills needed are intense, with some routines requiring individuals to support as much as 400 pounds of body weight, and others catapulting a tumbler fifty feet in the air.
The New Spirit Championship runs from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the lot between Dillard's and Foley's at Park Meadows, I-25 and County Line Road; admission is $5. Call 303-792-5384 or visit www.parkmeadows.com for information. -- Caitlin Smith
Ultimate Frisbee players share the wealth
At the 26th Annual Freestyle Frisbee Players Association (FPA) World Championships in Italy this month, Evergreen's Larry Imperiale and partners Toddy Brodeur and Paul Kenny won first place in the Open Co-op Division. Like crazed pizza makers madly twisting, kicking and flipping discs of dough to the delight of applauding spectators, the trio hurled Frisbees in every way imaginable -- through their legs, over their heads -- wowing the audience en route to victory. Clearly, these men love their Frisbees. Today that love comes to Colorado, for the first Random Draw Evergreen Ultimate Frisbee Tournament. Organized by Imperiale, the free, coed event, which takes place at Buchanan Park, 32003 Ellingwood Trail, aims to promote the sport in Evergreen and give everyone a chance to play. Teams will be drawn randomly from three hats, mixing world champions with novices, in an effort to level the playing field. Games start at 10 a.m., with a skills clinic for new players beginning at 9. A freestyle demonstration will soar in the blue skies in the afternoon, and the national Frisbee dog champion will get air, too. The tournament is open to all; those planning to attend or participate should e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. -- Adam Cayton-Holland