I cleaned out and organized a closet yesterday and found a treasure. It was an old cheerleading book that I'd used to teach elementary school cheer years ago with my friend Sharon. It was written by the International Cheerleading Association, and our little teams won the competitions, so it must have been a good tool. The pictures alone were hilarious. The content was even better.
This book covers everything from a personality quiz to pyramids and stunts to sports quizzes. It's 320 pages of information, much of which could actually apply today. Of course the sport has gotten more athletic and competitive, but the basics remain the same. Here's some takeaways that gave me a chuckle. Enjoy!
"A cheerleader must be an energetic, outgoing person with an ability to lead and charm an audience." No big shocker there. I'm not sure if charming means flirting though. I might discourage that in this day and time due to so many mixed messages out there. The dance moves alone are suggestive enough.
"Execute your motions smoothly. Relax and avoid jerky, unnatural movements."
Have you seen some of the routines they're doing these days? 'Unnatural' is one way to describe them.
"Your athletes will be more inspired hearing an entire crowd shouting their support together than hearing each fan cheering by himself. Keep in mind that cheers should be easy to follow, as your crowd will not respond to tongue-tangling words and small, intricate motions." Well duh. Although, in Jr. High we did a cheer that spelled out "Goodwyn Jr High School". The entire phrase. Long? Yes. Fun? OH YES! I still chant it every time I pass by that school. Hub just loves it.
"Jumps should never be used in negative situations, such as an opposing player fouling out or being injured." So is it ok to scream the "blood makes the grass grow" chant? Or the one about peeling the banana as long as there are no jumps involved?
"Choreographing your movements into steps involves counting to music." So basically if you can't count, you can't dance. Got it.
"Length of skirts must be checked. Be sure to select an attractive length for the entire squad." I'm not touching this one. I have boys. Let's just say I'm glad they wear bloomers. Are they still called bloomers?
In the Pep Rally and Spirit Ideas Chapter: "Silent Day - no one is allowed to talk in the halls between classes, during lunch, etc., until the time of a giant pep rally which is held at the end of the day." Good luck with that one.
The book really wasn't all bad. There are actually some great ideas in this handbook that would still be useful, even if they are old school. I'll leave you with a cheer that was handwritten in the back of this priceless find. I must've made it up for our squad. Feel free to use it next year, I give you copyright permission.
"We're the bees and we're here to say,
We're the best in the U.S.A.
So clap your hands and stomp your feet
Cause the mighty bees will never be beat!"
I told you it was a winner! You're welcome.
I'll post a few pics below for your enjoyment. The Banana Jump just might be my favorite. Do you have old cheerleading memories or pictures? Favorite chants from your younger days? Please post them below, or at bethroperstewart.com
We've got to do something to pass the #stayathome time, right?