10 Things You Should Know before Joining Cheer
Vulgarity or necessity: why do cheerleaders wear short skirts?
Cheerleading is not only a way to support the team or entertain the fans, but also a completely independent sport (since 2001, the World Cheerleading Championships have been held). In addition, in itself, it is very traumatic, as it includes many complex acrobatic elements. For example, in the USA, according to statistics, more than 50% of sports injuries are caused by cheerleaders. Despite this, most people are more likely to pay attention to the looks and outfit of cheerleaders than to their sports professionalism.
More recently, on September 18 this year, the Finnish newspaper Iltalehti published an article with the headline We went too long away? Cheerleaders at KHL matches dance in swimsuits. Why are there so few clothes on girls? Is it important to attract a male audience in this way, or is it just more convenient for them to dance? To answer this question, let's turn to the history of this sport.
The evolution of cheerleaders' uniforms
Supporting players with rhythmic movements began in the 1870s in the United States, but the date of the founding of such a sport is considered 1889 year. The first cheerleader in history was a freshman at the University of Minnesota School of Medicine named Johnny Campbell. It was he who suggested the idea that someone should lead the fans in the stadium and come up with various chants to cheer the university football team.
Until the 1920s, the vast majority of cheerleaders were men. However, in the 40s, during the Second World War, the situation changed dramatically. A large number of men went to the front. Today over 90% of cheerleaders are female.
Men's cheerleader team
The performers' clothes were not that frank at first, but, on the contrary, were the most ordinary. Floor-length skirts, long sleeves, trousers and shirts, the only distinguishing feature is the team logo.
But gradually the performances of the cheerleaders became more and more complex, and the tricks more and more dangerous, because of which the form had to become more comfortable, and therefore more open. Now, instead of sweatshirts and trousers, both girls and guys began to wear short shorts, knee-highs and T-shirts.
The cheerleading style evolved along with fashion. When miniskirts became popular in the 60s, cheerleaders immediately embraced the trend and cut their costumes even further. At the same time, the idea of cheerleading is becoming truly global: now every university and college has its own support group. Many girls dreamed of becoming cheerleaders, or at least being like them.
Over the years of its formation, cheerleading has developed its own costume standards: a bright shape that does not hold downmovement that is sewn to order. The fabric is selected depending on the direction: for the nomination chir - non-slip. Such material is needed so that the suit does not slip during tricks, otherwise the risk of injury during jumping and other acrobatic elements increases. For the same reason, it is forbidden to perform in tights. For the nomination, dance teams, on the contrary, choose a sliding fabric to make it easier to perform tricks on the floor.
In the 1930s, universities began to actively use the attribute that is still the hallmark of cheerleading - pompons. The modern vinyl pompom was invented in 1965. Previously, long-fiber pom-poms were popular, but now girls use accessories made from wide petals of shiny foil.
In the 80s and 90s, cheerleading made its way into pop culture. Famous designers began to use elements of clothing of girls from the support group, and in the 2000s, many films about this sport appeared.
Still from film Light up this summer!
Nowadays, no one can be surprised by short shorts and a top, as well as by the style of clothes of cheerleaders, because in Russia and in Europe there are a lot of sports clubs.
Why then are Scandinavians outraged?
Case in the fact that, according to Finnish journalists, the costumes of their cheerleaders look much more modest. And the Swedish league has already removed cheerleading groups from hockey arenas many years ago, so in this case our girls are outraged by their own struggle against cheerleading.
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Why is an open form necessary?
British cheerleader Emily Jupp, who has been a cheerleader for over 10 years, emphasizes the practicality of open suits:
One of the girls who played in the St. Petersburg support group at the 2016 World Cup in an interview with Metro responded to the criticism of her team: