More often than not, cheerleading is perceived as a sport full of snobby, mean, or dumb girls. This stereotype is perpetuated by decades of Hollywood movies and poor high school experiences. However, as cheer becomes more and more popular, it's clear that something isn't adding up. Cheer, by definition, is a friendly, supportive sport.
I've been a cheerleader for three years. I'd originally been a gymnast, but once I joined cheer, I couldn't leave the intoxicatingly positive environment I'd discovered. In cheer, we are taught to keep smiles on our faces, to love our teammates as family, and to yell "Good luck!" to our rivals in the most spirited way we can. Every year, there are instances of sour athletes and bits of drama, but nothing compared to other sports and activities I've been a part of. My all-girl cheer team had less than a fraction of the drama that my mostly-boy percussion and marching band group had.
In cheer, we learn that the only way to success is through positive relationships built on trust and love. How can flyers trust their bases to catch them from a ten-foot fall when they can even trust each other with gossip? In a team sport, the only way we can become great athletes is if we become great teammates and have great personalities.
Even in my high school cheer team, which would generally be considered a hotspot of catfights and drama, all I see exchanged are hugs and compliments. We learn to be strong even when everyone expects us to be weak and we learn to be loving when we are expected to be mean.
Cheer isn't a sport of drama and mean girls. Cheer is a sport of friendship, spirit, and strength.
RAW Elite multi-time first place National Champions & Overall Grand Champions. Proud of our 2015 overall Grand Champions in Cheer beating out over nearly 2 dozen teams to earn the title.