The Thrill of Being a “Cheerleader”

Okay, let’s face it – cheer is addictive. But why? What makes it so difficult to quit, or to even think about quitting, and how do so many people get sucked into this sport, only to emerge some 15 years later, (mind you, only because their broken-down and over-stretched bodies could no longer take it) with the final realizations that retirement time has probably come. Why do we continue suffering through countless hours of treachery, sweat, and fear of heights, when we could just be sitting at home relaxing, or doing a lower-intensity sport like aqua fitness? Surely, those must be better for our bodies?

I’m sure you’ve all got your clever answers ready – “I love the athleticism!” or “It keeps me in great shape”, or even “It gives me confidence and challenges me to attain new skills!”, you might say. “Perfecting a new stunt or a tumbling pass feels amazing!”, or “I love the teamwork and my teammates.” are also viable options. I hear you, and I feel you on those points too.

However, I think there’s a bit of an underlying thematic behind the sport that makes it particularly appealing and sticky. You may argue with me on this – but you can’t deny that it nevertheless does exist. What I am talking about is the thrill of ‘being a cheerleader’. There is still a lot of labels and perceptions about cheerleaders, many of which are unfortunately negative, but the main one having to do with sex appeal. There are few cheerleaders who don’t enjoy having an excuse to wear cure sparkly uniforms, massive amounts of glitter, and giant shiny bows on their heads. Just think about the number of people who dress up as cheerleaders for Halloween – clearly the uniform is a coveted item. In fact, from personal experience I can say that one of the main reasons that so many of the grade 9 girls tried out for my high school team was because they wanted that thrill of being able to say they’re cheerleaders. Since few (dare I say none) of them had ever actually stunted or tumbled before, the athleticism was definitely not the main reason for them trying out. I won’t lie, it was the same reason that I myself tried out. Surviving the rest of it was the true test of whether you were cut out or not. But for some, this ‘thrill’ and idea is what kept them going and motivated them to learn the difficult stunting combinations and push through 2 hour practices four times a week. After a few years of cheering, a bit of this novelty does wear off, but I don’t think it ever completely dies. It’s always fun to meet new people and boast about your stunting accomplishments and cheerleading highlights. After a while, all your non-cheer friends, relatives, and pretty much the world knows you as ‘a cheerleader’…and it becomes difficult to imagine what you would be if you quit. It literally becomes your identity. And frankly, I see nothing wrong with that. ❤





Team Canada Cheer!

Okay so before I go on to talk about this exciting event, I just want to mention that CCA Panthers’ Elite team competed in Cheer Evolution’s (formerly Cheer Alliance) Provincials competition this weekend both Saturday and Sunday and did great! They were going for a bid to World’s, but despite their great runs didn’t qualify because they didn’t have enough males on the team 😦 . But we love them and are super proud anyway!!

So now, to the important stuff – actually I should have blogged about this a few weeks ago when it actually happened, but I was overwhelmed with getting ready for Regionals and school etc. and didn’t have much time for blogging. SO, to compete at the International Cheer Union’s Annual World Cheerleading Cup Championship, TEAM CANADA’s roster was announced a few weeks ago! Led and trained by the Canadian Cheer Union, Team Canada is made up of some of Canada’s top gymnasts, tumblers, flyers, bases, and thirds! This year, they are gathered from 6 provinces and 14 different cheer gyms from around the country. So, are you ready to hear which gyms these athletes came from?

Power Cheer Toronto (PCT) and Cheer Force Wolf Pack (CFWP) tied at the top, each sending out a staggering 14 athletes divided up between the co-ed and all-girl teams. Next was Ultimate Canadian Cheer (UCC) with 13 athletes, two of which are competing in the co-ed partner stunt, 8 in the co-ed team, and 4 in the All-girl team. Vancouver All-Stars (VAS) had 10 athletes in total, 4 of which make up the  all-girl partner stunt, and CSS (Mary Ward) had 8 athletes on the all-girl team. Others include one athlete from UWO Mustangs, Power Cheer Calgary (PCC),  Supercats Cheer Motion Quebec,  U of Saskatchewan Huskies, Champion Spirit Athletics (New Brunswick), East Coast Spirit (ECS), and University of Waterloo. Great job to all who made it, but I have to say I’m proud that it seems Ontario is producing the best cheerleaders!

Here is a video of last year (2010) Team Canada’s All-Girl Performance!!

And here is Team Canada Coed! (2010)

The ICU World Cup Championships will be taking place on April 28th-29th 2011 in Orlando, Florida.

Good luck to everyone in training, and we will be rooting for you, Team Canada!!! C-A-N-A-D-A Canada, Let’s – Go – Canada!

Cool Bows: Sequins and Sparkles and Layers, Oh My!

Hello fellow Cheer Champs!

As promised, here is the bow post. This is a collection of some the snazziest (and not-so-snazzy) cheer bows around. Enjoy! And as always, I want to hear about your faves so feel free to comment!

The "Let's All Sail Away on a Bed of Cheer Mats" Bow. Perfect for the young sailor!

The "Welcome to Cheer, Little Ones" Bow.

The "Cheer Stars are Born and Raised in America" Bow!

The "Red Hot Cheer Passion with a Touch of Dark Mystery" Bow.

The "Blind a Deer Without the Use of Headlights" Bow. Hopefully you don't blind the judges too!

The "Rivers of Purple Flow Through the Shadowy Streaks of the Night" Bow.

The "Product of a Zebra, Giraffe, and Lots of Grapes" Bow. No animals were harmed in the making 🙂

The ""Meow!" - says the snow leopard kitty, while prancing through a winter wonderland" Bow.

The "Lollipops and Rainbows Sweetie-Pie" Bow. Every Tiny team should have one of these scrumptious bows!

The "Cheetah in Heat" Bow. For the passionate animal in all of us...Rawrr!

The "Pretty Kitty in Blue" Bow. Perfect for every young panther! Shout out to CCA - Can we have these bows next year pretty please? With a paw on top?

The "Good Morning America!" Bow. What American wouldn't love waking up to this? Love the 60's feel!

The "Kitty-Kat-Swimmin' In-The-Deep-Blue-Sea" Bow! Who says cats hate water?

The "Brownnosing Zebra" Bow. Sure to impress your coaches with this one!

The "Starry Night" Bow. Enjoy stunting under the stars!

The "How to Prove You're Sexy" Bow. By writing it all over your head of course! This bow would actually be cute if 'HOT' and 'SEXY' wasn't boldly slapped in the middle of it! Classy.

The "Ninjas!" Bow. Every tumbler should have one.

The "Honey You've Got the Pox" Bow. Sure to brighten up any sick cheerleader's spirit!

The "Help, I'm on Fire!" Bow. It's what happens when cheerleaders lose their cool.

The "Paw o' the Irish!" Bow. Leprechauns wish they had these.

The "Fresh From my Garden" Bow. Served as a side salad.

The "Groovy, Baby" Bow. Psychedlic!

The "Spirited Cheetah" Bow. 100% Spirit. 100% Cheetah. (No animals were harmed)

The "Thirsty Zebras" Bow. What? Animals need their 8 glasses a day too!

The "Only the Rich Own a Jag" Bow. Jaguar ownership not a must. Jag attitude required.

The "And the Sea, the Stars, and Animals Became One" Bow. Cheerleaders really do bring the world together.

The "North Stars Amidst Velvet Skies" Bow. Very possibly among one of my top picks.

Hope you all enjoyed those!

Coming up on Cheer Town: Which lucky teams will get to compete at Worlds this year?

Cheer on!