What Cheerleading Is All About
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What Cheerleading Is All About

We're not just something pretty to look at.

What Cheerleading Is All About
Rico Shen

Some people don't see the appeal in cheerleading. I mean, why would you want to parade around in an itchy uniform with roughly six gallons of hairspray on and about seven pounds of makeup on? But that's not what cheerleading is. Cheerleaders are athletes, entertainers, and the other athletic teams' biggest fans, all in one.

Yes, I used the "A" word: athlete. For those who don't already know, cheerleaders are athletes and some of the most dedicated athletes that I've ever met. If you don't believe me, take it up with the 40+ bruises on my legs from stunting. Anything less than 100 percent dedication from a cheerleader can result in serious injuries. We don't throw balls. We throw people. Even injured cheerleaders keep up with themselves. If someone is injured at practice and sitting on the sidelines, they're doing whatever safe workouts they can to stay active. If that's not dedication, then I'm not quite sure what is.

Cheerleaders spend hours at a time moving their bodies in what-should-be-impossible ways. At practices, we don't stop. At games, we don't stop. At workouts, we don't stop. A cheerleader's endurance has to be one of his/her strongest points. Imagine throwing that ball up and down all day. Now, imagine that ball being 115 pounds. Doesn't sound too fun, does it? Well, it is. That's why you'll always see a smile on a cheerleader's face.

We're so much more than just athletes. We're entertainers, too. When there are timeouts in the games, it's left up to the dancers, band, mascots, and cheerleaders to keep the energy up. We put on a show so that the fans don't become bored or uninterested. We're put in the spotlight to showcase what we've been working our rear-ends off for months. We're not just doing it for ourselves or the team. We're doing it for you-- the fans.

Some of you all might think you're the biggest fans of your teams. I'm sorry, but you're wrong. Cheerleaders risk their lives and others' lives every day just to make sure we cheer on our teams as best we can. We're there for every game, lead tailgates, host pep-rallies, and lead the crowd in cheers and chants. When our team is discouraged, we're there to try and pick them back up before, after, and during the games.

Even if our team isn't the best in the conference, we're there for them. We cheer them on no matter what. Not because it's our job, but because we want to.

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