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Varsity Spirit Announces Inaugural DI and DII National School Spirit Championships in 2026

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March 6, 2024

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Varsity Spirit, a division of Varsity Brands and a leader in cheerleading, dance team and band apparel, camps, competitions, and yearbooks, is excited to announce the debut of the Division I (DI) and Division (DII) National School Spirit Championships in 2026. This innovative new event will take place at the prestigious Walt Disney World® Resort in February 2026, marking a significant milestone in fostering collaboration among cheer, dance, and band programs nationwide.

The National School Spirit Championships will be the ultimate event to recognize and celebrate the talent and dedication of cheer teams, dance teams and bands. Scheduled to take place over two weekends, the championships will feature separate divisions for DI and DII schools, catering to schools of similar enrollment sizes. Recognizing the profound impact of school spirit on student achievement and the community, the National School Spirit Championships will elevate the experience for students, athletes and spectators alike.

"We know when school spirit is high, student engagement is high and when cheer, dance, and band work together, they elevate the game day experience at their school, increase student engagement and transform their community,” said President of Varsity Spirit, Bill Seely. “We believe the National School Spirit Championships will bring together students to create even more unified campuses. With the introduction of the DI and DII National School Spirit Championships, Varsity Spirit remains committed to empowering students and athletes to reach new heights of excellence and camaraderie.”

The National School Spirit Championships will be the home to the renowned UCA National High School Cheerleading Championship, UDA National Dance Team Championship, and the new National School Band Championship. With a total of $75,000 in prizes and awards, participants will have the opportunity to showcase their talents and celebrate their school pride on the biggest stage for spirit groups nationwide.

The National School Spirit Championships will also be endorsed by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), reflecting the values the organizations share: healthy participation, achievement and sportsmanship."

“I eagerly await the inaugural 2026 National School Spirit Championships. This event, for the first time, unites cheer, dance, and band programs, symbolizing a monumental step towards elevating the student experience and engaging school communities like never before,” said NFHS Director of Performing Arts and Sports, Dr. James Weaver. “By celebrating these disciplines together, we're not just showcasing talent; we're fostering a sense of unity and pride across campuses nationwide. This innovative approach promises to transform school spirit, making it a more inclusive, vibrant force that truly represents the heart of our schools."

The 2026 Championships will also introduce two new elements: the National School Spirit Champion title and the Spirit Program Game Day Divisions. Schools will compete for the prestigious title of National School Spirit Champions through weekend-long points races, rewarding overall excellence in spirit and performance. The Spirit Program Game Day Division will emphasize collaboration and cohesion among cheer, dance, and band programs, and aim to amplify school spirit and traditions.

For more information about the DI and DII National School Spirit Championships, visit varsity.com.

About Varsity Spirit:

Memphis-based Varsity Spirit, the driving force behind cheerleading’s dynamic transformation into the high-energy, athletic activity it is today, is the leading global source for all things spirit, including cheerleading, dance team, performing arts and yearbook. A division of Varsity Brands, Varsity Spirit is a leader in uniform innovation, as well as educational camps, clinics and competitions, impacting more than a million athletes each year. Focused on safety, entertainment and traditional school leadership, Varsity Spirit’s employees have been dedicated to celebrating spirit through its brands since 1974. For more information about Varsity Spirit or Varsity Brands, please visit varsity.com or varsitybrands.com.