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GYRATING GYMNASTS JUST AREN'T CHEERLEADERS

What has happened to cheerleading? When I was in high school many years ago, we used to have assemblies wherein the entire student body was taught not only our high school alma mater but all the words of our cheers. Then the cheerleaders, with a minimum of gyrations, would get up at crucial points in the game and call for a specific cheer. We would all yell our lungs out. The cheers could be heard throughout the stands. But sad to say, that has all changed.

Now the only ones who cheer are the cheerleaders. These days, the girls must be gymnasts. The cheers themselves are a series of intricate arm movements, leg movements, human pyramidal constructions, tumbling and other strenuous physical movements all done in conjunction with the words of the cheer. There is only one problem. No one can hear the cheerleaders and hardly anyone knows the cheer. Therefore, what is being exhibited is merely a show for the entertainment of the spectators.

At professional events, the cheerleaders go to different parts of the stadium, line up, recite some gobbledygook, do a few fancy twists and jump in the air with both hands raised high. The response of the spectators is underwhelming.

Herbert R. Falk Buffalo

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