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Cheerleading's humble beginnings
Cheerleading has many fascinating qualities.
Have you ever seen a cheerleader in action? One cannot help but admire the execution of the different stunts done ever
so flawlessly.
                 
Images: Left to Right. Jennifer Abbott - Cassie McLaughlin - Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders - Miami-dolphins

Cheerleading's humble beginnings
Cheerleading has been growing in popularity ever since undergraduate Johnny Campbell stood up at a football game
and yelled “Rah, Rah, Rah…” one day in 1898. It has gained a lot of recognition and respect since its humble beginnings.

Commonly used as a way to rouse the school spirit, cheerleading has been a major part of competitive sports and
has become a separate sport itself. Cheerleading began in the 1880’s, when male students led a crowd in chants.
It has been said it started at Princeton University as a way of stimulating the crowd at football games. After a few
years, a Princeton graduate, Thomas Peebles, introduced this idea to the University of Minnesota. A student named
Johnny Campbell reportedly got so excited at a game that he led the crowd in an organized chant, making Johnny
the first cheerleader. By the 1920’s, women started participating in cheerleading, and by the 1940’s, cheerleading
became mainly a female activity.
In 1948, Lawrence Herkimer, better known as Herkie, established the first cheerleading clinic. The National
Cheerleading Association held its first clinic with 52 girls in attendance. Herkie made slogans, buttons and ribbons
to raise money.
By the following year, the clinic grew to 350 cheerleaders. By the 50’s, most schools in America had formed their
own cheerleading squads, and by the 60’s, competitions began to appear. The annual “Top Ten College Cheer Squads”
and “Cheerleader All-America” were two of the first cheerleading competitions.
The early 70’s saw the rise of the Baltimore Colts organized cheerleading squad. But it was the Dallas Cowboys
Cheerleaders who gained popularity because of their “pom-pom Broadway style” dance. By the 1980’s, cheerleading
became more competitive with more difficult stunts and the incorporation of gymnastic movements. Safety guidelines
were established and coaches as well as sponsors were trained.
Cheerleading provides detailed information on Cheerleading, Cheerleading Uniforms, Cheerleading Cheers,
Cheerleading Stunts and more. Cheerleading is affiliated with Gymnastics Instructions.

Cheerleading has many fascinating qualities.
Being a cheerleader shows leadership abilities and positive attitudes. It is a great way to build self confidence.
Cheerleaders work together as a team with no particular person standing out. The whole team works together to
create the impression they give others.
Cheerleaders uses their cheers and chants combined with routines to reach out and grab the crowd’s attention.
They can take a boring game with little excitement and make it interesting and fun. They can add to the enthusiasm
of a great game. Everyone expects cheerleaders to be on the sidelines of their favorite sport.
The use of gymnastics plays an important role in cheerleading. Combine this with song and dance and you have
everyone’s attention. At times cheerleading has been considered a dangerous activity, even though when compared
to sports like football and basketball; far fewer injuries have been recorded. With all the safety guidelines that are in
place today cheerleading has been able to overcome these worries.
Every cheerleading squad has a signature cheer that is specifically for their team. This is a tradition that will probably
last as long as cheerleading itself will be with us. Most of the time it includes the name of the school or organization
that the team is affiliated with.
All-star or competitive cheerleading can consist of a small or large group of men and women performing their best
stunts and routines. They only have a few minutes to perform but what they can accomplish in that time can be
quite amazing. Cheerleading is an exciting and fascinating profession.