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There's victory in staying active

The Peetz family loves staying in motion. Lauren and Jason are the married co-owners of Victory! Cheerleading in Concord. Now in its 12th year, the gym which offers classes for ages 4 and up in competitive All-Star Cheer training, tumbling instruction, fitness and more. This March, along with son Tyler, 2, the family became finalists in the second annual Primrose Schools Family Dance-off national video contest, which raises awareness of childhood obesity and benefits Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, which includes Levine Children’s Hospital. While the Peetzs didn’t win with their spirited moves to Huey Lewis’ “Heart of Rock and Roll,” they succeeded in getting their message across about the importance of staying physically active. “Our business is so related to getting kids moving,” Lauren says.

What did you think of the contest? The contest with Primrose (where Tyler attends preschool, at Afton Village) is great. We got our 2-year-old involved. We love getting him involved even at an early age. When he gets older, we don’t want it to be a chore for him. We take him to all of Jason’s triathlons. We take him to the Y, we go to the park. We let him see us doing physical things and getting involved, so when he grows up it will be a part of his life.

How has interest in cheerleading been over the years, especially since other sports are available to young people?The All-Star industry has really exploded over the last 10 years. Cheerleading used to be a sideline activity, where their role was secondary and was to support the athletic team. Now cheerleading has come into its own as a sport. It merges gymnastics and dance and acrobatics, and it becomes very competitive. There’s a shift in the perception of what cheerleading is. It’s not just about how you look and having a pompom in the air. It’s very physical and very challenging.

What competitions have your cheerleaders won that you’re especially proud of, and why?A couple of our teams brought home titles this year from the “Universal Spirit presents the ‘Spirit of Hope’ National Championship.” (It’s inspired by Hope Stout, a 12-year-old Weddington girl with a rare form of bone cancer who in 2003 urged the Make-A-Wish Foundation to raise enough money to grant the wishes of other children instead of hers. She died in 2004. ) It’s right in our backyard, and we love it. And it benefits the March Forth With Hope Foundation.

Victory! Cheerleading is at 4407 Republic Court, Concord. 704-795-CHEE(R); Victory! Cheerleading.