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cheerleading


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A combination of exercise, acrobatics, and dance performed by teams of predominantly young women in the context of team sports, before and during breaks in team sport contests, these latter usually being the sporting encounters of males; the performances are intended to rouse the crowd into noisy enthusiasm and vocal support for the team. Organized cheerleading dates from the late 1800s in US universities (initially, the University of Minnesota) when all-male groups urged on the college football side; in 1898, it began to be organized more formally on the basis of supportive chants in the crowd led by what became a yell-leader. In the early 1920s, cheerleading women were organized in US universities. Latterly, cheerleading has laid claims to the status of a competitive physical activity in itself, with teams in the USA entering national competitions, and the National Cheerleaders Association (founded 1948) espousing the values of the activity: its web welcome in 2009 thanked the association's founder, Lawrence Herkimer, and declared a commitment tohold dear his vision of creating an atmosphere to cultivate the whole cheerleader. We embrace our rich heritage as the first cheerleading company and continue to pioneer the way with innovative Camp curriculum, industry-leading Championships and Special Events that reward the hard-working, well-rounded cheerleaders in America today!As the web declaration shows, cheerleading has spawned a serious business drawing in large numbers of young enthusiasts. The more cut-throat and damaging end of the competitive variant of the activity has been exposed in Kate Torgovnik's Cheer!: Inside The Secret World of College Cheerleading (2008). Sociological study has shown that there is also an interesting gender dynamic underlying the activity. Laura Grindstaff (‘Cheerleading and the Gendered Politics of Sport’, Social Problems, 2006) has shown how male cheerleaders want to perform separately from female practitioners, because their association with the feminine side of the activity has branded them as gay. Controversies abound on the potentially injurious effects of the activity, but it has prospered at school, college, and even professional level in the USA. The practice has been adopted in schools and in the context of some professional sports in numerous countries beyond the USA, and particularly well-organized mixed cheerleading groups (ōendan) of both male and female Japanese fans are visible on the international sporting stage, at events ranging from softball matches at the Olympic Games, to men's football games at the FIFA World Cup. Whether cheerleading is a sport or not remains an unanswerable question; it is certainly an established form of public, performative body culture, in its organized forms drawing on committed participants, and requiring discipline, training, physical skill, coordination, and collective cooperation. The meaning depends on the context, for in the support role in the stadium, as opposed to the self-contained competitive variant, it can also be redolent of sexism, voyeurism, and nationalism.

hold dear his vision of creating an atmosphere to cultivate the whole cheerleader. We embrace our rich heritage as the first cheerleading company and continue to pioneer the way with innovative Camp curriculum, industry-leading Championships and Special Events that reward the hard-working, well-rounded cheerleaders in America today!

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Subjects: Sport and Leisure.


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