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  Cheerleading (Doll Article)

(October 07, 2007 by JeZz Send DollMail )
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There is one activity that requires true athleticism but is almost always overlooked as the sport it is. Cheerleaders root on the ďrealĒ athletes according to much of culture, but anyone whoís ever been to a practice or tried a few of those tumbling passes knows exactly how much strength and energy goes into cheerleading.

History of Cheerleading

The first organized cheers were heard at Princeton in the United States. But the University of Minnesota really got the cheerleader movement going. Cheerleading officially began on November 2, 1898 when a group of young men led the Minnesota football fans in a chant that is still used today.

It wasnít until the 1920s that girls got involved in cheerleading. The University of Minnesota led the pack again and started adding girls and tumbling to their cheers. The use of megaphones and flashcards also started up in the early 1900s. During the Great Depression of the 1930s, pom-poms made their appearance, but the ones we use today didnít show up until the 1960s.

In 1967, the first of the cheerleading competitions began. College cheerleading was the focus in magazines and rankings, but younger cheerleaders were beginning to show their stuff. The 1970s made cheerleading a real sport. Cheerleading now started to include stunts, pyramids, difficult tumbling and jumps. Colleges started offering cheerleaders scholarships and offered courses to train cheer coaches.

Since then cheerleading has become increasingly well known and well respected. While we normally think of girls as being the only cheerleaders, male yell leaders and cheerleaders were just as common and still are in some schools. In fact, some colleges, such as Texas A&M University, only allow male yell leaders. They donít have girl cheerleaders.

Cheerleading Today

Today cheerleading is at all levels. College cheerleaders are still the top of the pack, and high school cheerleaders are nothing to sneeze at. Most middle schools have cheerleaders and elementary aged kids can join squads outside of school.

Cheerleading requires a lot of skill and devotion. The gymnastics require strength and agility while the stunts and pyramids require trust and a great deal of training. The best cheerleaders train for years and study a combination of gymnastics and dance in addition to learning cheer routines and specific stunts.

Cheerleading, along with football, is unique as far as reputations are concerned. The cheerleaders and football stars are often among the most popular students in school. They often have plenty of friends and just as many enemies. Some are envious of the cheerleadersí popularity and others just donít care for that much school spirit. Whatever the reason, cheerleaders are often labeled with rather unattractive nicknames and are often the center of gossip. In a way, this is the price they pay for being a mini celebrity.

And speaking of celebrities, there are many icons that have spent some time doing cheers. Among the most famous is a United States President and General, Dwight D. Eisenhower. Other older celebrity cheerleaders include Kirk Douglas, Meryl Streep and Cybil Shepard. The list of younger celebrity cheerleaders is just too long to even contemplate. One thing Iím sure of, though, is that cheerleading is a serious sport, and those girls (and guys) are true athletes and have earned my admiration Ė even if I am a bit jealous since I canít do a back flip to save my lifeÖ


Comments
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xJESSiCA

20/Female
Colorado Springs, CO
Posted On: October 13, 2007
I took a summer cheer day camp thing when I was like...seven. It was so boring. S-U-P-E-R what's that spell? Bor-ring.

I respect most cheerleaders however. Some are stuck up. But there is one girl, Dylan (yes, her name is Dylan) and she cheers, but she's really nice and humble.

I hate how you have to be a twig, though. I heard that at some schools, you have to be under...I think it was 120lbs to cheer. That's just retarded.
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pumpkinlover1

22/Female
United States Minor Outlying Islands
Posted On: October 13, 2007
Ugh. I was a cheerleader for 3 years then quit. i hated cheerleading so much
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BadLuck

27/Female
Guam
Posted On: October 10, 2007
I know that cheerleading takes a lot of skill and they must be at least C to B average students in order to stay in cheerleading.

But why do all the cheerleaders I meet have to be self centered? Stuck up?

They're irritating and my respect for them is not very high.
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its_skiz_not_s

20/Female
Germany
Posted On: October 9, 2007
Couldn't pay meh a million bucksss to cheer.
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Mrs_11

21/Female
Jacksonville, FL
Posted On: October 9, 2007
OMG PLEASE DONT EVEN MENTION CHEERLEADIN AROUND ME....THE CHEERLEADERS AROUND HERE R SO SELF CENTERED AND THEY THINK THEY ALL THAT AND THEYRE SO STUCK UP....I DONT KNO BOUT YALL BUT THATS HOW IT IS AROUND HERE...
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tanisha_13

23/Female
Hilo, HI
Posted On: October 9, 2007
iM A ChEErlEADEr,bhUt BrOkE MAh AnclE
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Carebare818

26/Female
Charleston, SC
Posted On: October 9, 2007
LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:i con7:
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Screamsx3

96/Female
Romania
Posted On: October 9, 2007
stunts aren't even hard, either. coming from a used-to-be-cheerleader. I was the one who was in most of the stunts. It was so easy that I was just like..what the hell is this, kindergarten? I've been thrown into the air, stood on one foot in the air, been thrown up in the air and did a backflip and then caught by cheerleaders.

And it wasn't even hard. I'm not trying to brag. I'm just trying to say: its not like cheerleading takes some backbone. its so easy, a cheerleader could do it.

rofl
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Screamsx3

96/Female
Romania
Posted On: October 9, 2007
yup. like I said, haaate the cheerleaders. such jealous bxitches. every cheerleader's dream is to be a "flyer one thats on the top of the pyramid and gets thrown up into the air, and lifted up. the flyers are the most respected and most noticed.

I was a flyer. I never asked for it, back when I was a cheerleader. But I never really cared. This chic Barbara was jealous that I was a flyer, and she had to lift me up. So she dropped me on purpose.

But on the way down, I grabbed her by the ponytail and took out a big fistfull of her her hair.
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gamerbe1517

23/Female
AZ
Posted On: October 9, 2007
Okay I heard that cheerleaders suffer more injuries than all sports combined... We must some really clumsy cheerleaders if they can rack up more injuries then the entire league of Hockey! I mean it's only a bunch of guys with blades on thier feet trying to hit a tiny little puck (or each other if they can) with large wooden sticks and not to mention they slam eachother against walls all the time. I have a huge amount of respect for cheerleaders and yes I do believe that it is a dangerous sport but it's pretty difficult to think that it can be more dangerous than Hockey come on! I understand broken arms and some a neck if it's really bad but thats just ridiculous. The only way really bad things like can happen is if it's planned by another member of the squad. At least that's what I think anyway. I was only one in elementary for a very short time.
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blubbernugget1

20/Female
Boca Raton, FL
Posted On: October 9, 2007
all cheerleaders at my school are snobs i hate them all so much
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X_EnvyMe_X

107/Female
Nanticoke, PA
Posted On: October 8, 2007
w00t!!

finally sum respect.my friend broke her neck doing a stuntt.

i am still in it!!

it takes work and detication you get up at 3 to go to a competion!!
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cornelia_weasl

24/Female
Erwin, TN
Posted On: October 8, 2007
okay as much as this TRIES to make it sound good, to me cheerleading is nothing. i have only 1 friend who's a cheerleader. all the rest of thme are HUGE snobs. not to bash anyone.
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Maddie705

20/Female
Willowick, OH
Posted On: October 8, 2007
I used to take cheerleading in forst grade.................but i hated it.It wasnt to fun.She taught us how to do the moves but it wasnt enjoyable.
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never_more

22/Female
Arvada, CO
Posted On: October 8, 2007
egh, i remember peewee cheer camps,,,being taller than all the other girls, i was always on the bottom when I wanted to be a flier!!! Don't do it anymore.....
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