A studio worth cheering about
May 17, 2017 04:59PM
By Greg James
The Copper Hills cheerleaders won the fight song division at the state cheerleading competition. (Ulbby Dyson/Forever Cheer)
By Greg James | [email protected]
The owners of the Forever Cheer studio found each other through a mutual love of cheer. A courtship ensued, and it continues today through a business, coaching and giving back to the community.
“We both cheered in high school, college and on all-star cheer teams,” Ulbby Dyson said. “He grew up in Kentucky; I was in California. We both started teaching in gyms, and he came to California to teach at a rival gym to mine.”
Reggie and Ulbby Dyson met at a cheer competition in California. He asked her to breakfast; she was four hours late for their first date because she was so nervous. They fell in love, were married and later moved to Salt Lake City and established Forever Cheer in 2013.
The Dysons wanted to be their own bosses and teach the sport they loved. They found a building in West Jordan (6792 Airport Road) and established a cheerleading business for all levels.
“Our oldest daughter suffered from infantile spasms, a type of seizure, Ulbby said. “We were told at 9 years old she may never walk or talk. We kept working with her; one in five kids come out of it completely; she has not yet. Sitting at Primary Children's (hospital), we realized that a lot of families and kids miss out on opportunities that we have had.”
The Dyson’s decided if they ever had their own gym they would provide a place where special athletes could go, perform and even go to competitions. The special athletes category is new around the country. Several states offer first and second place awards to these teams.
Team Passion Special Athletes trains on Wednesday evenings at the Forever Cheer gym. They perform an all-star routine just like any other team, choreographed with stunting, tumbling and dance. Several volunteer trainers help the team.
“We started with two special athletes, and we had six coaches on the floor with them,” Ulbby said. “We would tell the kids they could go home because we did not have enough athletes, but they said no and continued to come and help. We have volunteers from Herriman, Riverton, Copper Hills and West Jordan high schools.”
The studio offers tumbling, cheer and open gym classes with instructors. They have competitive teams as well as beginner and cheer prep classes for intermediate skill level.
Ulbby is the head cheer coach at Copper Hills High School. Reggie was an assistant coach at Riverton High School. He recently accepted a position as assistant coach at Copper Hills with his wife.
The Grizzly Cheer team won the fight song division at the state competition. Riverton also won the varsity and junior varsity comp division at the state competition.
“We try to teach even the high school kids that there is more to it than just cheer,” Ulbby said. “For homecoming, the cheer team collected board games and took them to schools in our community. They are ambassadors of our school. The kids are role models, cheering is just part of it.”
The cheerleaders represent the school 24 hours a day.
“We try to turn around the stereotype that exists for cheerleaders,” Ulbby said. “They are required to keep a 3.0 grade point average. Cheerleaders are not just with pom-poms and a skirt. They make posters and wish the teams luck.”
The Dysons have mutual respect and love what they do.