Cheerleading is a great sport to help you get fit and toned and achieve the model poise and confidence that you’ve been looking for. Hang on, sport? YES. It’s a sport.
In 2016, cheerleading is a very popular activity for girls (and boys) who want to exercise whilst having fun. It gained a lot of popularity in America in the past, and in recent years, it’s grown over in the UK, too. Now it’s offered in a lot of schools, and there are squads all over the country who practice regularly.
What Do Cheerleaders Do?
Cheerleading isn’t all about cheering on other sporting teams from the sidelines. In fact, most cheerleaders are too busy getting ready for their own competitions, with nobody to cheer them on in return! There are lots of organisations who hold such comps at different levels, for cheerleaders of all ages. Some teams are all-girl, whilst others are co-ed. Cheerleaders can start at any age (there are even University and adult teams), but it obviously helps to start younger to be the best that you can possibly be.
What Skills Are Needed?
Cheerleading isn’t about prancing around waving a few pom-poms. Nope! A lot of the time, these aren’t even used (sorry to burst your bubble). It’s a very intensive sport, requiring skills in dance, gymnastics, stunting and jumps. Of course, you can play to your strengths in a routine, but it’s a good idea to be at least moderately talented in all or most of these aspects in order to be chosen to compete. Stunting is especially complex, and requires total teamwork. A flyer is thrown up to perform aerially, whilst the strength and discipline of the group – including bases and a backspot – is put to the test. It’s imperative for safety that everyone is attentive and knows their role.
Your abilities will help your cheerleading captain decide which level of team you should compete with. Levels start at Level One and go all the way up to Level Eight. Those performers are incredibly, jaw-droppingly talented, but all cheerleaders are in their own way.
What Makes A Good Cheerleader?
Whilst the above skills are obviously highly relevant, the clue is in the name. A cheerleader should be cheery, and a winning smile will literally win you points at competitions! It’s also implied in the name that a cheerleader should be able to raise morale, so confidence and a good attitude at all times is a must. Good posture, poise, dedication and commitment all help as much as flexibility and experience.
Cheerleaders come in all shapes and sizes, and it’s not as bitchy as they make it look in movies, don’t worry!
It’s Harder Than It Looks…
People don’t understand the effort that goes into cheerleading, thinking it’s just silly girls in short skirts. Whilst the uniforms are cute, this isn’t what it’s all about. There are so many dimensions to cheer that anyone judging should first give it a go themselves.
It’s a great sport for models as it can keep you in shape whilst teaching you discipline and giving you confidence. Plus, you get to practice ensuring hair and make up fits a particular standard for the mat, just like you’ll have to at a job!
Have you tried cheerleading? Was it for you? We’d love to hear all about it…