More High Fives Blogs
- Volleyball - bump... set... SPIKE!
- Bobsledding - The Extreme Toboggan
- Diving, Take the Plunge!
- Walking - Start Your Own Walking Club
- Fencing, en garde!
- Sports: Curling
- Competitive Swimming
- Rugby...for girls?
November 2009 Blogs
- Real Girl: Adisa
- DATING: 10 Do's and Don'ts of Having a Boyfriend
- Big Things Happen ...when you don't give up
- How To Make Your Own Bath Salts
- Choosing Careers ...when you have more than one interest
- Focus on Your AWESOMENESS!
- Pay Yourself First
- The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks
This month's Book and Music
HIGH FIVES, November 2009, by Karen Demers
Come on ladies let’s yell loud and proud!
THE PINK AND WHITE
WILL PROVE WE ARE THE BEST,
WE'RE READY AND DETERMINED
TO RISE ABOVE THE REST.
SO GIRLS LET'S HEAR IT
SHOW US YOUR SPIRIT,
Cheerleading started as “pep clubs” at universities where its role was to increase school spirit and get students excited to cheer for their teams. The first organized “yell” or cheer, was at a Princeton football game. Six men gathered together and lead a yell in front of the student body. The excitement quickly spread and by the late 1890s most universities had a pep club.
By the 1930s, pep clubs were in almost all universities and high schools. With the invention of the paper pom-pom and women becoming more active in the sport, new routines began to form. Gymnastic skills were introduced bringing twist, tumbles and acrobats to routines. The first cheerleading camp opened in 1948 by Laurence "Hurkie" Hurkimer at Sam Houston University. After the creation of a national cheerleading organization, the sport of cheerleading boomed! Colleges and universities began conducting cheerleading workshops to teach fundamental cheerleading skills.
In 1965 the modern vinyl pom-pom was invented by Fred Gastoff. It is believed that in 1976 when the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders performed at Super Bowl X, it started an evolution of "dancing cheerleaders” and brought change to the sport.
By the 1980s, universal standards were established and safety guidelines eliminated many dangerous tumbling moves and pyramids. Today, cheerleading continues to grow and evolve as new moves and international dances are incorporated into the sport.
Cheerleading requires a certain amount of commitment. Whether you are on your high school team or looking to join a local cheerleading club, practices are usually 2-3 times a week. Cheerleading incorporates elements from both gymnastics and dance so any extra classes in these areas will help your skills to improve.
Cheerleading can start at any age. If you’re just starting high school and have never been part of a cheer team, then GO FOR IT! Most girls don’t get into the sport until then. However, if there is a local cheerleading club in your area, lessons can start as early as 4 and continue from there.
Flexibility and endurance are two important physical requirements to this sport. Cheerleaders are always moving!! Not to mention, while they are dancing they are CHEERING – that requires a set of good working lungs.
You are going to need workout clothes you can move in and a solid set of running shoes. Oh ya, and don’t forget your smile!
If you want to join a local club, there is often a membership fee of around $50. After that, the cost depends on what classes you are joining. Individual dance, tumbling or cheer classes usually run every month and can cost anywhere between $30 and $50 per month. Joining a high school or university team may require a fee – make sure you look into this before committing to anything. And there are usually fees for costumes and outfits!
Attack the crowd: get the audience involved in a cheer, dance or song. Aerial: Used to describe a cartwheel without hands touching the ground or floor. Basket Toss: a stunt using 3 or more people as a base which tosses the flyer into the air. Two of the bases have interlocked their hands to create a cradle. In the air the flyer may do any jump before falling back to the cradle. Candle stick: This is a cheer motion where you extend your arms out in front of you with your fists facing each other as if you were holding a lit candle in each hand. Elevator: Two bases each hold a different foot of one flyer. The feet are both held at shoulder level. Sponge Toss: a multi-based toss where the flyer is tossed into the air by their feet. Whip back: back handspring motion where the hands do not touch the ground.
What do parents think of cheerleading?
“Cheerleading is a great sport because while they get to do dance routines and have fun they are also getting a great workout and maintaining their flexibility. Cheerleading has had a negative reputation in movies that the girls are mean and negatively competitive, but it’s really not like that in real life. The girls work really hard and they have a great sense of sportsmanship and team spirit.”
Why others should consider cheerleading?
Cheerleading is a great way to stay active, work out, and have a ton of fun doing it! There are not many sports where yelling and dancing at once is accepted! Cheerleading is also a great way to bring together the many different talents you may have – dancing, singing, tumbling, twisting, and the list goes on. So put those smiles on girls and cheer for your team!