Indiana University East is adding more varsity level sports to its athletics program to provide greater opportunities for students. The cheer squad and dance team will compete at the varsity level beginning the 2011-12 academic year.
The IU East Faculty Senate during its December meeting approved a resolution to add competitive cheer and dance to the school’s varsity sports.
Currently, IU East has 10 other varsity sports at the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) level. The NAIA in May announced that it could conduct its first national championship in competitive cheer and dance as early as the 2011-12 school year.
The Red Wolves currently compete in men’s basketball, women’s volleyball, men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s tennis, and men’s and women’s track and field.
Chancellor Nasser Paydar said adding cheer and dance to the lineup of varsity sports offered at IU East provides students with further opportunities for involvement and engagement on campus.
“We’re committed to growing our co-curricular programming – in addition to our academic offerings – to meet the needs of our students and to bring more students to the campus,” Paydar said. “Moreover, we want to continue to emphasize areas related to health, recreation, and athletics; that’s important for our campus and our community.”
Competitive cheer and dance, under the NAIA governance structure, reached championship sport status during this school year when more than 50 member colleges and universities declared to participate in the sport, according to an NAIA media release.
“This is opportunity to get in on the ground floor of an emerging sport. It’s something we will offer that no NCAA school can offer, and it will give us a big leg up in competitive cheer and dance,” said IU East athletic director Mark Hester.
The NAIA has listed competitive cheer and dance as an “emerging sport” since 2009.
Competitive cheer and dance currently are serving the one-year provisional period required before achieving NAIA national championship status.
IU East’s cheer squad and dance team currently are part of the school’s Office of Campus Life.
High school students and current IU East students interested in joining the IU East competitive cheer and dance can contact the athletics office for an application at (765) 973-8457 or online at iueredwolves.com.