CHEERLEADING

A look into competitive cheerleading

CHEERLEADING

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Michelle Wheelwright, Staff Writer

Most people wonder what competitive cheerleading is when someone tells them that’s the sport they do… So what is it? Competitive cheerleading is when two or more cheer teams go to a competition and compete against each other. They don’t perform an extremely long routine, normally only two and a half minutes, but they still practice at least three times a week, for months and months, making sure that the routine is perfect! What about education, some might ask? In fact, more than 80 percent of cheerleaders have a B grade point average, if not higher.

Competitive cheerleading has different levels of skills. There are different divisions in which one competes in, meaning in short that a level one team, for instance, won’t be competing against a level three team because they are scored differently, due to the skills that are being presented. Competitive cheerleading has come a long way since the day it started.

Cheerleading started out merely as chanting and shouting, but has grown and grown into what it is today! Cheerleading was born at the University of Minnesota in the late 1800’s. It wasn’t until the 1960’s that the NFL started forming cheerleading squads for the teams, and then around 1980, more difficult stunts and skills were added to the routines. Lawrence Herkimer played a big role in the cheerleading industry, inventing the pom-pom and the Herkie jump, helping form NCA, and so much more.

Competitive cheerleading is most popular in the state of Texas; cheer parents in Texas will go to almost any extent to make sure their team wins and does their best. There are currently about four million cheerleaders on the planet, but that number is growing more and more everyday. Cheerleading isn’t just a sport, the close bonds and collaborative environments creates a bond closer than best friends- your team becomes your family.