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American Cheerleading and Other High School Traditions

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Kristina Cirrincione

on 17 December 2013

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Transcript of American Cheerleading and Other High School Traditions

Tumbling is another word for gymnastics in cheerleading. Some of the most popular moves on the high school level are:

- Cartwheels or Round-offs
-Back Handsprings or Front- Handsprings

Teams with full-squad tumbling receive more points.

Here is an example of a round-off, back handspring, back tuck. You will see more tumbling in the last slide.
This is perhaps the most difficult, dangerous yet unique part of cheerleading. This is when cheerleaders are lifted in the air by fellow cheerleaders.
Some common stunts are: liberties, heel-stretches, scorpions, bow-and-arrows, arabesques and so on.

Here is an example of: A Basket Toss, A Heel Stretch and A Scorpion
National Competitions
Please watch this short video of an example of a nationally-competing high school squad during a tournament.

This is the vocal part of cheerleading. No music is involved. Cheers, or
, are yelled at a high volume. This originates from football games and other sporting events of the past, where cheerleaders came to show their support for their local high school. Most cheers are basic, repeating things like the name of the high school or
over and over, so that the crowd could easily catch on and be involved. In today's world, some motions and stunting are added to accompany the words.

Introduction to Cheerleading
You've seen it in the movies. You've heard about it on TV. It's time to debunk some myths about cheerleading.

1. They are NOT called "Pom Pom" girls.
2. Cheerleading is now legally recognized as a sport.
3. Boys cheer, too!
4. They have national competitions annually.
5. They do more than just scream at football players.


American Cheerleading and High School Traditions
Elements of Cheerleading
There are two national cheerleading associations, each with marginally different styles, called UCA (Universal Cheerleading Association) and NCA (National Cheerleading Association).

Both of them have the same basic principles.
There are four basic elements in American cheerleading.
1. Cheer
2. Dance
3. Tumbling
4. Stunting

There is a very specific type of dancing involved with cheerleading. While other styles of dance can be fluid or rhythmic, cheerleading dance is graded on how tight each motion is. This means that movements are quick, concise and controlled, and each cheerleader must be on the exact time as his/her fellow cheerleaders. Precision is key.
ESPN and other networks cover national competitions, which take place in February every year. To qualify, squads must first compete locally in November and December.
(n) stunting
(n) chant
(n) mascot
(n) tumbling
(v) debunk
(adj) concise
(adj) rhythmic
Class Discussion
With your groups, answer the following questions.

1. Did you high school have a mascot? Special song?
2. What organized sports did your high school offer? Did you play one?
3. What are some high school traditions that your community participated in?
4. Were there any special days to celebrate your school or community?
5. Would you ever consider being a cheerleader?
6. Would it be socially acceptable in your town or city for a man to be a cheerleader?
7. What sports are generally associated with men, and which ones are associated with women?
8. Do you find these to be based on stereotypes or facts?
9. Would you see a live cheerleading event in your time at EF NY?
10. Which sports are the most dangerous?
Cheerleading originally started as a way
to promote interest in one's town or high
school. Many squads today do community
events like volunteering, and host events at
the school such as Spirit Week, where students
dress in themes each day, like pajamas or bathing
suits. Cheerleaders often make posters to decorate
the school, and often give gifts to the players of
organized sports. Gifts can be things like homemade cookies, or even jewelery. Cheerleading is also
offered at the university level, but usually focuses
on national competitions, and less on community
building activities.
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