What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think about cheerleading? Most people flash to an image from a recent movie they have seen or a sit-com reference; either way cheerleading is rarely portrayed in a positive light. Today, we are going to bust some of those myths and stereotypes!
Common Myths About Cheer:
- It is not a sport: While cheering may not be classified as a sport, make no mistake its members are definitely athletic. Members of a team train religiously to improve strength, flexibility and endurance.
- No future in cheer: There are several notable Americans who were once cheerleaders, including Ronald Regan and Meryl Streep. There are also college-level scholarships for cheer members who qualify.
- No competition: Some people still think there is no competition in cheerleading, and this is blatantly false. There are a variety of competitions held around the country each year, and these teams train extensively to compete.
Cheerleaders are also the subject of misconceptions and stereotypes, which are unfounded.
- Airheads: The image of the ditzy blonde cheerleader is a common one, but very far from the truth. Both high school and college-level cheerleaders are intelligent, focused individuals. In fact, in most schools they are required to maintain a minimum GPA in order to participate in athletics.
- Mean or catty: Another Hollywood-inspired stereotype is that cheerleaders are all catty and vicious. This is categorically false; as a team, the members must trust and respect each other, otherwise the routines fall apart.
- No other interests: If you think all team members do is think up routines and wave pom-poms around you have a limited view of their “job.” Cheer is about lifting the spirits of those you are cheering to and for, as well as putting on an interesting show.
Cheerleading is physically demanding and requires team spirit and dedication, especially for teams that wish to compete at a regional or even global level. Cheerleaders are smart, young people with a big future ahead of them, definitely not the common stereotype!