Elite All Stars’ Y2 Rockets team will be competing at the D2 Summit competition in Orlando, Florida, in May. The 11-and-under team is made up of 16 girls who live all over the state, including the Lewiston-Auburn area. Submitted photo

Reaching The Summit. It’s something that has become synonymous with cheering.

A few local cheer gyms will be sending teams to The Summit, a major cheering competition in Orlando, Florida.

For Elite All Stars, which has been around since 2001, getting teams to The Summit is nothing new. But a newly formed youth team (11-and-under) has earned a coveted Summit bid in its first year.

“We’ve had youth-level teams in the past, but they always just compete in New England. This is the first team that we’ve had them compete (at a national level), Elite owner Julie Dvilinsky said.

At a recent competition, Elite’s Y2 Rockets team earned bids for both the D2 Summit (for gyms with no more than 125 members) and the U.S. Finals, which is held in Virginia Beach a week before D2 Summit.

“This is what we were hoping because we kind of handpicked this team at the beginning of the season, when we had our evaluations, in hopes that this team would achieve high-level accolades. And they did,” Dvilinsky said.


The Y2 Rockets team is the only squad from the Westbrook-based gym to have qualified for The Summit so far, but Elite’s Open-4 Commanders team will be going to another U.S. Finals in Providence, Rhode Island.

Dvilinsky said another team — the Junior-1 Radar squad — is also heading to the Virginia Beach finals.

The Rockets received a “gold” bid for U.S. Finals and a wild card bid for D2 Summit during the recent competition, at which they had the highest score at for their division.

The 16-member squad — coached by Dvilinsky’s daughter Erika — is made up of girls from outside of just Westbrook, including the Lewiston-Auburn area. Dvilinsky said she even has a girl on another squad who travels from Bangor.

The Rockets, like a few other Elite teams, travel to competitions all around the country — including a recent one in Dallas. The commitment, time and money it requires is a big reason why Elite has never formed a heavy-travel youth team before.

“When we did our evaluations, I think it was in May of 2018, we had a vision that we saw this youth level, and we wanted to have them compete at a national level. They were just very driven, hard-working group of young kids. So we came up with this youth team,” Dvilinsky said.


“What we did, we presented it to them. You know, first there was definitely some worried parents about just a lot of the traveling, a lot of the commitment,” she added. “But as the season progressed they definitely embraced it, committed to it. They definitely saw the progress the kids were making. They saw how well they were doing at competitions, so they really have bought into this whole going to Summit and going to U.S. Finals. They are very excited.”

The two competitions are May 4-5 (U.S. Finals) and May 10-12 (D2 Summit), so the girls are getting down to the wire in both preparation and fundraising.

“Each child … they have to not only have their competition fees for that, but they also need traveling money. So they’ve been trying to do some things to raise some money,” Dvilinsky said.


Elite won’t be the only cheer gym from Maine sending teams to D2 Summit. Element All Stars, based out of Lewiston, has all five of its “high-travel” teams going.

“We all have bids to go,” Element tumbling instructor Cat Haley said. “And two of our teams actually are going under full-paid bids, which are really hard to get.”


The Element teams going are Radium, Gold, Nitrogen, Xenon and Cobalt. Three of the teams are senior-age level and two are youth, with the ages of the girls among the five teams ranging from seven to 19 years old.

“We actually have four brand-new divisions in the gym this season, so for the two paid bids this year, this is their first time ever getting paid bids,” Haley said. “We have gotten paid bids in the past. We won two Summit championships last year, and we’re hoping that our teams that earned the bids can bring home some more titles.”

Haley said getting all five teams bids was a big focus for the gym, especially after the first four solidified their spots.

“We are a small gym, and we don’t want anybody left behind,” Haley said. “It’s important that we all make memories together, and we all have an equal opportunity to let the kids live out their dreams.”


Another Lewiston gym has reached The Summit, though in a different division. Diamond Athletics is sending one of its teams to the D1 Summit, which is May 2-5 in Orlando, and a couple of its other teams are going to or still trying into get to other major competitions.


“We’ve had a great season so far,” owner Naomah Waisanen said.

Diamond’s Junior Jokers team, made up of 10- to 16-year-olds, earned its bid to D1 Summit during a competition in Atlantic City in February. Waisanen said the team “beat out almost 25 other D1 gyms” to get the bid. That same weekend, the team also won a paid bid to the U.S. Finals in Providence.

The “Scarlet” team of 14- to 30-year-olds also competed at an event in Atlantic City and won a bid to The Cheerleading Worlds Competition (April 27-29 in Orlando) in the International Open Coed Non Tumbling division.

The Senior Sorority and Senior Swarm teams (both for 12- to 18-year-olds) have won multiple competitions throughout this season, and Waisanen said they are both attending a competition in a few weeks in hopes to receive a paid bid to U.S. Finals.

The Mini Mafia team of 5- to 8-year-olds ended its season in March at the Level Legends competition in Myrtle Beach. Waisanen said the team won a free bid to the bid-winner-only event.

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