WHAT IS CHEERLEADING?
Cheerleading is a competitive sport that involves boys and girls performing a 2 minute and 30 second routine composed of tumbling, stunting, pyramids and dance. This routine is performed and scored against other competitive teams at various local, regional, national, and worldwide competitions.
When we refer to tumbling, we mean gymnastic type skills like cartwheels and back handsprings. Stunting refers to a group of two or more individuals that elevate another cheerleader in the air. This also includes co-ed stunting that may only include one base and one flyer. Pyramids are a form of stunting but are done as a large group and are interconnected. Dance is a portion of a routine that consists of choreographed high energy dance moves. Teams performs purely for the challenge, thrill, and competition of the sport.
However most clubs offer recreational classes for those who do not want to take part in competitions and simply want to attend for fun. It is a lot less commitment.
WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BE A CHEERLEADER?
Dedication to the sport, a commitment to practice each week, and being a team player are all fundamentals of cheerleading.
Cheerleaders are dedicated to the sport of cheerleading and it being seen as such to the public. Members are not chosen based on popularity, attractiveness, or familial status but on the skill they can offer the team. Team members are athletes in every sense of the word and work hard to dispel any biased assumptions of what a cheerleader should be.
Lastly, every cheerleader should be aware that this is a team sport. Decisions are made based on what is best for the team and the performance. There may be times when a parent or athlete may question a coach’s decision. Before discussing these issues with any staff, you should always ask yourself whether this decision was better for the team even though your child may not be in the position they had hoped. There will always be ups and downs in a cheerleader’s career, but rarely are these decisions made with any bias.
WHY SHOULD MY CHILD TRY CHEER?
Cheer is unique in that it encourages individual development (i.e. tumbling) as much as team development (i.e. stunting, pyramids). Your child can feel pride in learning a skill completely on their own and at the same time learn the invaluable lesson of depending on their teammates to reach a goal. Likewise the confidence developed in performing in front of thousands of people is priceless. You will be amazed how quickly your young cheerleader adapts to being on stage.