Serving Kentucky's Schools and Student Athletes Since 1917

11/10/20 – NFHS Understanding Copyright and Compliance Course Required for Cheer & Dance Coaches

November 10, 2020 Cheer Blog Updates


This is a reminder that all KHSAA Cheer and Dance Coaches (Head and Assistant, paid or unpaid) must complete the NFHS Music Copyright Course “Understanding Copyright and Compliance”. This course is free and 100% online and is required whether or not a team competes in KHSAA competition. This course from the NFHS is geared toward music teachers, spirit coaches (cheer and dance) and school administrators. Understanding Copyright and Compliance is available through the NFHS Learning Center at

The course explores copyright laws and how those laws impact the interscholastic community and the course was produced with the assistance of NAME (National Association for Music Education) and USA Cheer. It also expands on topics such as fair use, public domain, copyright infringement penalties and much more. Spirit squads, as well as Dance teams, are increasingly met with copyright infringement claims and this course is a tool to assist cheer and dance coaches in education on the topic. This course will show what you can do and what you need permission to do. It’s all black and white, and it’s all cited back to the copyright law. In particular, there is considerable focus on “mash-ups” and using the material in a different way than originally intended by the composer, author or artist.

Additional information regarding the pitfalls of failing to adhere to license agreements is available on the KHSAA Cheer and Dance web pages. If you have previously taken this course, you have completed the requirement at this time as the course material has not changed since the requirement began in 2017-18.

A list of currently certified spirit coaches (both cheer and dance) can be found here:

Click Here to see the List of Certified Cheer and Dance Coaches

Please contact Sarah Bridenbaugh ( for questions pertaining to Competitive Cheer and Assistant Commissioner Michael Barren ( for questions pertaining to Dance.



About the Kentucky High School Athletic Association
The Kentucky High School Athletic Association was organized in 1917 and is the agency designated by the Kentucky Department of Education to manage high school athletics in the Commonwealth. The Association is a voluntary nonprofit 501(c)3 organization made up of 280 member schools both public and non-public. The KHSAA awards 215 state championships to 51 teams and 164 individuals in 13 sports and 6 sport-activities, funds catastrophic insurance coverage for its more than 106,000 rostered member school student-athletes, provides coaching education and sports safety programs for more than 12,000 coaches, and licenses and facilitates the distribution of training material for over 4,000 contest officials.



icon-angle icon-bars icon-times