What's up with the ELITE in EDE?
The name of my program is Eastside Dream Elite. Sounds like an all-star team, doesn’t it? This is because back in the early 2000’s, Rec Cheer didn’t exist as such an entity in Washington State. Back then you were either high school or all-star if you wanted to compete, and all-stars were really just barely getting started then as well.
Since we obviously weren’t a school, our only option was to compete as all-stars, and we took the name “Bellevue Dream Elite” as was standard at the time (we changed to Eastside a year later as we quickly started encompassing a greater reach beyond Bellevue). Other teams competing at the time were Bellevue All-Stars (another rec group—this one formed form the Bellevue Jr Wolverines sponsored by the Bellevue Boys & Girls Club), NW Elite, Galaxy Cheer, and many other rec and all-star teams that no longer exist.
Incidentally—the “Dream” part of our name came from the Bellevue Parks “Dream Hoops” basketball program which we were supposed to cheer for that first year. Unfortunately the Dream Hoops program was a no-go that year, so we never actually cheered for them, instead cheering for the Parks youth basketball program in subsequent years. But the name stuck.
We competed for only a year when the Bellevue Parks Department higher-ups decided that a competitive team didn’t support the mission of the organization. So in 2004 we stepped off the competition mat and focused on building a strong performance & sideline program.
Since that time Rec Cheer has grown by leaps and bounds in this state. In 2014, supported by the Mercer Island Parks Department, we once again took the floor, competing at two competitions, including the Rec State Championships.
Our team is very different than the one that competed a decade ago. All team members come from our performance and sideline teams. The program is not formed solely for competition, and we only compete twice a season. We have done well in those competitions, and are excited to perhaps add a third next year. In the meantime, we’re happy with where we are and what we’ve accomplished.