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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

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Zionsville, IN
Posted On: October 8, 2007
I respect cheerleaders but personally I like colorguard better and I think it's more of a sport because not only does it involve yelling counts, gymnastics and dancing on a football field, it also has a healthy helping of large blunt objects like rifles, sabres and flags and of course dodging band members is half the fun.

Go Flag Core!

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Boca Raton, FL
Posted On: October 8, 2007
hey great article

ps peeps syn my pro sometime
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United Kingdom
Posted On: October 8, 2007
I Use To Do Cheerleading All The Time, I Still Do It Now, Just Not As Much. My Team Was The Trent's High Bees
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Netherlands, The
Posted On: October 8, 2007
President Bush used to be a cheerleader in his all-boys school.

I know male cheerleading isn't the same as girl cheerleading, but I just can't help but imagine him in a skirt dancing around with pom-poms.

It's a frightening sight.


Good article.
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United Kingdom
Posted On: October 8, 2007
Male cheerleaders xD



Boy, would I like to see that...
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Posted On: October 8, 2007
I was a cheerleader,

it was only a class,

sorta like a hobbie,

but it is pretty serious,

yeah and I'm not popular,

well it wasn't a school thing,

but STILL,

should I join again...?

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