Raising Spirits and Stigmas: The Cheerleading Movement

Raising Spirits and Stigmas: The Cheerleading Movement

Rachel Ng

By the 1960s, cheerleading could be found in virtually every high school and grade school across the United States. Cheerleading has become the nation’s fastest growing youth activity. Locally, Goldstar, Pop Warner, and All Stars are the dominators of the cheerleading movement, as they face off in competitions in So-Cal and across the nation. Just like any sport, there are difficulties and challenges that players must face.

    MVHS sophomore, Madison Noroña began competitive cheer in the second grade. She took a break until fifth grade, then took it up again. She made both varsity and competitive cheer at MVHS in her sophomore year. Unknown to most, the MVHS competitive cheer team started this year and competes against other schools in the area and qualified to compete at nationals. “We are hardworking, and try our best,” Noroña said about their work ethic. Her favorite part about cheer is the rallies, in which she stunts, tumbles, and dances, three major aspects of the sport itself.

The primary role of cheerleaders is to promote school spirit. Unfortunately, throughout history, media has portrayed cheerleaders as unintelligent with their only goal being to make their way up the social pyramid. Noroña combats these views, saying, “In reality, many people on our team strive to do well in school. Lots of us take honors and AP classes, and care more about school than popularity.” On the other hand, the debate as to whether cheer is actually a sport comes to question too.

 “We lift 100 pound girls, and it’s not easy, especially when you can’t just drop a girl on the floor like a weight. If that’s not a sport, I don’t know what is.”

       The MVHS spirit leaders play a key role at rallies and sporting events. Although diverse, the team comes together as a unit, and this unity translates to the unity of the school. Turning their cheeks to the stigma and instead allowing it to motivate them, cheerleaders such as Noroña not only lift school spirit, but also lift the stereotype one cheer at a time.