The Berkshire Elite All-Star Cheerleading organization recently took three youth teams to the "Beast of the East" national cheerleading competition, held on Friday and Saturday at New Jersey’s Atlantic City Convention Center.

"We’ve really taken on the all-star role this year. Our program is a lot bigger, and instead of tryouts, we’re placing kids on teams skill level-wise," said Berkshire Elite Director Teresa Goines.

The Berkshire Elite group formed after Pittsfield’s Catholic Youth Center closed. The group now practices at The Infield on Lyman Street, training four competitive teams, two house teams and an instructional team. The cheerleading competition season runs from January to May.

Goines said 47 Pittsfield area youths, ages 7 to 19, traveled to compete in New Jersey among 500 teams. Berkshire Elite registered two junior-level teams and a senior-level team to compete.

She said the two junior teams placed fifth, and the senior team finished sixth in their respective divisions. The teams are also qualified to compete in the U.S. Finals, which will be held on May 3 in Providence, R.I.

Between now and then, Berkshire Elite will head to the Spirit Festivals Nationals, held Feb. 8 and 9 in Hartford, Conn.; a varsity-level competition scheduled for March 15 in Springfield, and another national competition on April 5 and 6, also in Springfield.

To learn more about Berkshire Elite, email