In their shoes, Varsity Cheerleading


The sport of cheerleading is often considered to be one of the most dangerous in the world.  However many people, including myself, have been skeptical over the years as to how this sport had built up the reputation of being even remotely dangerous.  So in an attempt to reveal these hazardous traits, I decide to go beyond the superficial image of the ponytail’s and short skirts to figure out what makes cheerleading so exciting. 

 I quickly learned that cheerleading was no walk in the park.

 With the combination of a warm up run and some “minor stretching” (there was nothing minor about this stretching) the pain was already settling in.         

The squad then began to run their routines and due to their dangerous nature, I was not permitted to participate.

As they went through their formations , I became amazed at the outstanding athleticism and sense of rhythm that these girls displayed.  It was clear that this was the product of a lot of practice and devotion. 

“It takes a lot of dedication, you have to constantly do your jumps, cheers, and tumbling in order to stay in shape.  There is no off-season, its constant hard work,” Erin Mikel, Varsity Cheer Captain, said.

Because it was early on in the season I expected to see a lot of errors or miscues as we moved on to the cheering portion of the practice.  Once again, I found myself dumfounded by the spot on togetherness and continuity of the varsity squad.

Watching them conquer the cheers left me thinking that surely I could step in and master a few of these cheers, but the realization of my inflexibility and lack of rhythm sent my fellow cheer friends howling with laughter.

“It takes extreme athletic ability, we do stretching and hard conditioning everyday.  At the games it may just look like were just smiling and waving our arms but it definitely takes a lot of hard work to get there,” Mikel said.

Mikel captains the team with fellow seniors Rachel Waddell and Erin Meyer.  Their leadership and open mindedness to the ideas of their squad members is what helps our squad to compete at the highest levels of competition.  Our lovely cheer ladies recently qualified for the state competition after performing with excellence at regionals.   

This was without a doubt one of the most eye opening experiences that I have ever been through. 

“I think you did a very good job,” Erin Meyer, Varsity Cheer Captain, said.  “You have a lot of potential and if you keep working hard, you will be able to do great things.”

After 2 hours of seeing girls stretch beyond what I believed humanly possible, fly through the air like lively monkeys, and move like the gears of a well oiled engine, I think it’s safe to say that cheerleading has earned my utmost respect as one of the toughest sports out there.