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Cheerleading is a Sport This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

By Renee R., Arlington Heights, IL

     The New York Times states that cheerleading is the fastest growing girls’ sport, yet more than half of Americans do not believe it is a sport. In addition, they fail to distinguish between sideline cheerleaders and competitive ones. Sideline cheerleaders’ main goal is to entertain the crowd and lead them with team cheers, which should not be considered a sport. On the other hand, competitive cheerleading is a sport.

A sport, according to the Association of Cheerleading Coaches and Advisors, is a “physical activity [competition] against/with an opponent, governed by rules and conditions under which a winner is declared, and primary purpose of the competition is a comparison of the relative skills of the participants.” Because cheerleading follows these guidelines, it is a sport.

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52 comment(s)
Incredible work here. As a football fan, it makes me appreciate our cheerleaders even more.
Apr. 10, 2015 at 2:15 PM • Report
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Apr. 10, 2015 at 11:39 AM • Report
Okay, first off, I love this and I only had to read the title. I'm not a cheerleader, but I'm a ballerina, and it makes me want to snap someone in half when they say either of them aren't physically (or mentally) demanding. I give you props.
Apr. 09, 2015 at 1:06 AM • Report
That is a very good argument for this issue. I think cheer leading and dance should be considered the same because they both use music and timing to create a good routine or performance.
Apr. 10, 2015 at 8:33 AM • Report
You are 100% right haha. But actually some dancers prefer to consider dance an art rather than a sport.
Apr. 13, 2015 at 8:05 PM • Report
But cheer leading and dance are art forms because a lot of timing is involved in each movement. Also when cheer leaders do a routine to music and make a cheer with physical percussion (hand clapping) that right there is an element that right there is the artistic side of cheer leading.It's the same thing color-guards do in the marching band, and why in ballet hand gestures are used to communicate the characters actions from a dying swan, a captured fire bird, and even a tribal society like in The Rite of Spring. When the chosen one is found in act two the other woman push her into the center of the ring to indicate to the audience she is the chosen sacrifice. To every movement there is meaning.
Apr. 26, 2015 at 8:48 AM • Report
I fully agree with your opinion
Mar. 23, 2015 at 3:25 AM • Report
I'am glad you have such compassion for cheerleaders. It reminds me about how hard color guards work, and yet directors and other ignorant people call them, "the shinny thing". It is very offensive and perpetuates the same stereotypes that cheerleaders are put under. By the way have you seen the show Blast?
Mar. 04, 2015 at 9:27 AM • Report
I really agree with you, it's the same situation with marching bands. Too much competition is hurting the creativity, choreography, and individuality of many bands and makes them single-minded and too focused on winning. Any form of art should be appreciated by the public not showed off to a bunch of judges and directors that are part of the single-minded persona that arts should be turned into sports. It cannot happen and it should not be accepted as a norm.
Feb. 18, 2015 at 9:25 AM • Report
I disagree, but just because I disagree does not mean I'am a narcissist. I feel the same way about marching bands, that they are more of an artistic endeavor than a sport. If these forms of art become a sport then there is no choreography,creativity,and no individuality in the art form. Cheer leading is very much like the role color-guards play in marching bands or ballerinas in a ballet. Dance is a constantly changing art form but it is not a sport
Feb. 05, 2015 at 7:11 AM • Report