I'll add 2 claps (xx) in there and a round off, back handspring, back tuck! Unbelievable. Check this out. I guess I should be able to make the Division IA Basketball team now? Wow, I have to breathe through this one.
I cheered my entire life. I was squad captain in High School. In college, I was a Div IA, SEC USC Gamecock Cheerleader (not an easy feat for a girl coming from the Northeast). I actually cheered for ex-Philadelphia Eagle and now Steeler, Duce Staley when he played for USC. We competed against Peyton Manning when we played Tennessee (Ahh, memories). Currently, I teach kids how to cheer On Comcast.
Div. IA college Cheerleading was BY FAR the toughest, most grueling, time-consuming, thrilling, dangerous, exhausting and physically demanding (think: working out until you puke while yelling your lungs out) thing that I have ever done. My cheerleading background is why Lithe is so intense. We do a lot of the same training. All you Lithers have such great endurance b/c you're Cheerleading....If I can only get you to yell while you Lithe (Just kidding!).
We worked out 3 times a day in the same stadium next to the biggest, strongest football players (practice at 5am, stadium weights/cardio conditioning at 3pm, practice again at 6-8pm) every day of the week. Oh, and lets not forget running the steps of the Williams Brice Stadium in the hot and steamy August, Columbia, South Carolina sun (Seriously, the hottest place on earth).
To even think about making the squad you needed to be fit, petite, coordinated, super athletic, you had to be able to dance really well, you had to be spirited, had to have good jumps, run a 6 minute mile, you had to have a round off, back handspring back tuck and you had to at least be able to do a toss up liberty onto hands. Period. If you didn't have that as a baseline, you didn't even make the cut. Got Asthma? Forget it. You need major endurance.
Our Cheerleading squad consisted of 12 men and 12 women. We had two Physical Therapists, Two conditioning trainers, A sports med MD, and 3 tutors to help us with what we were actually there for: College!?! : )
Cheerleading is what inspired me to start Lithe (I missed it and my Cheerleading physique that much) and it's what inspires me still when I programme and create classes for Lithe Method. Am I inspired by Pilates?? Um, with all due respect...It's in me but been there, done that. Nah, it's Cheerleading and dance. This article burns me up big time. I have major love and respect for Cheerleaders--I'm not talking about Eagles/Cowboy Cheerleaders or girls who dance around and shake their pom-poms and flip their hair. I'm talking about the real thing.
At UCONN, A super-athletic, NCAA female team was fired and replaced with a "Spirit Squad," or Marketing team, that has no athletic or cheerleading ability. Cheerleaders are athletes. Every cheerleader knows what it takes to cheer at college level: Cheerleading, gymnastics, stunting and dance. And, we can throw a few T-shirts while we do it.
It's tough to explain if you've never cheered...Cheerleading is a team sport where you are your own captain, coach and cheer squad (much like Lithe), yet you work together as ONE to create amazing visual stunts and flips, rouse the crowd with dance and cheers and give people chills.
Yes, Cheerleading has become quite dangerous. I can remember the fear of being tossed about 50-60 (or more) ft. up into the air for aerials and praying that my guys were going to follow and catch me. I remember taking some tough falls, too. I ended up tearing my rotator cuff. We got hurt just as much as any other contact sport. Rugby? Football?
Bottom line is...UCONN, don't fire your female athletes! What is that? These women spent a lot of time and energy on their sport and maybe even chose UCONN because they wanted to cheer for UCONN and represent the University. I know that was why I chose USC. Aren't you supposed to be empowering women? Let them be real cheerleaders, ban certain stunts and hire student ambassadors with no athletic ability to hand out buttons, "assist" and SPOT them at the games! D-E-F-E-N-S-E!
2007 University of Kentucky (the best) images via KentuckyCheerleading.org