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More than 5,000 cheerleaders and dancers to perform in OC this wknd.

(April 5, 2013) Approximately 5,400 cheerleaders and dances will compete at the Ocean City convention center this weekend as part of the annual American Cheer & Dance Academy’s ‘Reach the Beach’ All-Star and College Nationals.

According to Mike Stamper, managing partner of Epic Brands, the company producing the event, more than 20,000 athletes, parents and fans are expected to gather at the 40th Street venue for the three-day competition.

The action will begin at 5 p.m. tonight, Friday, and continue through Sunday evening.

Approximately 305 teams are scheduled to attend. Athletes, who range in age from 8-20, will compete for cash prizes, trophies and national championship jackets, among other items. Two full-paid bids to the Cheerleading Worlds at Disney’s Wide World of Sports, held the last weekend in April, are also up for grabs. And one coach will win a seven-day Caribbean cruise for two.

“[It’s] one the largest all-star competitions in the country. Teams compete twice for the highest score — once on Saturday and once on Sunday. Friday night is partner stunt and individuals,” Stamper said.

Solo/stunt group competitions are scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. tonight. Cheer teams will perform on Saturday and Sunday beginning at 7 a.m.

Admission on Friday costs $5. Saturday and Sunday admission costs $15 for adults (ages 13-64) and $10 for children (ages 6-12) and seniors (65 and older). Children 5 and younger will be admitted free. Multi-day passes are also available.

Participating solo performers and teams will have the opportunity to qualify for the U.S. Finals championships, which will take place in Indianapolis (April 13-14), Kansas City, Mo. and Pensacola, Fla. (April 13), Anaheim, Ca. (April 14), Providence, R.I. (May 4) and Virginia Beach (May 4-5).

The U.S Finals recognize squads of all ability levels that have excelled in cheerleading and dance. For additional information about Reach the Beach, call 877-322-2310 or visit www.theepicbrands.com.

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