By MIRANDA ENZOR
CHEER CHAMPS: Cheer Dynamix Head Coach Shannon Young (far left, standing) and his students attended the World Championships in Orlando, Fla. earlier this year. This competition was invite-only and two teams from CDX received paid bids (all-expenses covered) to attend the competition. In addition to attending the World Championships, CDX teams also competed at the American Spirit Championships held in Oklahoma City earlier this year. Every team from CDX went home with a jacket – a feat that Young says was a “crowning moment??? of the 2006-2007 competition year.
Courtesy Cheer Dynamics
Hidden amongst the warehouses and office buildings along 83rd Ave. in Tulsa is a gemstone. Upon stepping inside, visitors are dazzled by a vault of shimmering golden trophies, sparkling plaques and fluttering sapphire championship banners.
Welcome to Cheer Dynamix (CDX).
CDX is Tulsa’s largest cheerleading and dance training facility. Classes offered include private lessons, team training, choreography, tumbling and stunt classes for all ages and skill levels. Their 13 staff members have a combined experience of over 110 years and in the four years the gym has been open, they have accumulated more than 75 national titles – a number of which came from the World Championships in Orlando, Fla. earlier this year.
“I think one of our crowing moments for this past year was finishing 9th at the World Championships,” Head Coach Shannon Young says. “On a typical competition day, you’ll have two or three teams win. On this particular day, all the planets aligned and every team won, including five grand championships. Every single kid in our gym got a nationals jacket.”
According to Young, the World Championships is an invitation-only event. Not only did CDX get invited to the prestigious competition, but they were also the only gym in Oklahoma to receive multiple paid bids, meaning two teams attended the event, all expenses paid.
“Thirty countries are represented, and only about ten gyms in the United States had more than one team represented,” he says.
He talks excitedly about every milestone CDX has achieved in four years, but constantly turns his focus towards the future.
“We’ve had some gyms that have closed and transitioned into Cheer Dynamix, so the talent across Tulsa has been split into several different gyms around town,” Young says. “We’re really looking forward to having all of this talent based out of one place and I think it will really cement our name in the cheerleading world and able us to compete at higher levels.”
That won’t be hard with a head coach who has been involved in cheerleading since high school. As a student at Guthrie High School in Edmond, Okla., Young joined cheerleading after guys on the squad saw his abilities.
“There were always guys who could cheer at my school, and once they saw that I could tumble, they told me to try out.”
Young earned the titles of “Best Cheerleader in the Nation” and “All-State Best Cheerleader in the Nation” as a senior and was the first person at his school to win both those titles. After graduating, Young went on to cheer for the University of Nebraska on a full-scholarship. During the summers he returned to Oklahoma and taught NCA cheer camps. After graduating from college, Young came to Tulsa.
“There was a gentleman that had asked me to come work for him when I got done with school, so when I finished I moved back to Tulsa and started working at a gym here,” he says.
Young worked at that gym for three years before considering another job in Dallas. The parents of his cheer students had other plans for him, however.
“I had a wonderful group of parents who said ‘You’re not leaving town, you’re going to coach our kids,’ so we got a board together and parents invested in the gym. We put a business plan together in a month. At the time, we didn’t have a facility. We had try-outs at Union High School that first day and had a great turnout of kids.”
Currently, CDX has around 150 kids enrolled in their classes. Coaches work with nearly every Tulsa-area high school cheer squad as well. Young handles choreography and is the lead choreographer for competition teams. He also coaches some of the school teams.
Young and his staff have spent the summer traveling and learning new routines to bring back home. Fall classes are currently enrolling and Young could not be more excited to get the 2007-2008 season underway.
“Oklahoma is known nationally for cheerleading,” Young says. “I feel like the kids in Tulsa need a place where they can get quality instruction that’s on par with the rest of the nation. When the kids come here, they know that they’re getting quality instruction.”
For more information on CDX’s awards, classes and staff, visit