Cheerleaders are more than just “Pretty”!
By: Carolina Hughes
There is a false pretense surrounding cheerleading. Some people claim that cheerleading is not a sport and all cheerleaders have to do is stand there and look pretty. However, cheerleaders are much much more than just a pretty face. Cheerleaders practice hard, they condition frequently, and they compete against not only each other, but against a vicious stereotype as well.
Cheerleading practices can last anywhere from 2 hours to all day long. This whole time is taken up by cheering, stunting, dancing, and tumbling. We have to learn all the sideline cheers and band dances, and then they have to be perfected to make sure the cheers and dances are tight and in sync. Cheerleaders also have to learn all of the stunt cheers which can involve a stunt ranging in difficulty from a full to a switch up or harder. Then they have to learn all of their choreography for competition cheer and perfect that to make sure that they are loud enough, sharp enough, and in sync with each other. Then cheerleaders have to learn the elite stunt sequence, and sometimes that means doing upwards of 20 repetitions to get it right. Next, cheerleaders have to learn the pyramid, which is a series of flips, inversions, exits, and entrances that has to be flawlessly performed by 5 stunt groups working together. After all of this comes the conditioning. The cheerleading squad will normally run a mile, do about 100 pushups, 150 situps, wall stands for 1 minute, lunges, box jumps, and suicides. And yet still, there are some days that they do things that are even harder; like running from the starting line at the track to half-way through the curve and doing lunges to the straight away, then the squad ran half-way through the straight away and did 15 push-ups, then they ran halfway to the next curve and did 10 box jumps, then ran halfway to the next straight away and did 15 crunches. The cheerleaders repeated this for four laps and then they had to run an extra lap all the way around the track because some people decided to cheat. Practices are long, hard, and involve a great deal of work.
Not only do cheerleaders put in so much hard work to achieve their goals they are constantly competing. The squad is on the mat on a Saturday proving that we are a good team, and they are trying to beat all the other teams so that they can be number one, making it to State Finals. Cheerleaders fight to prove to people that cheerleading is a sport and they do more than just stand there and look pretty. Cheerleaders have a lot to prove. They have to prove that their team has worked hard and that they are truly a good team. So now can you tell me that cheerleading is not a sport? They seem to work harder than a lot of football teams that are considered a sport.
photo credit: es.vecteezy.com