Cheerleading 101

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History Of Cheerleading

Cheerleading is a competitive sport that origninated in the United States. It started out as an all male activity in 1877 at Princetone University. Thomas Peebles, a graduate from Princeton University in 1882. He moved to Minnesota in 1884 and proposed the idea of organized crowds for football games for the University of Minnesota.

In 1898 Johnny Campbell, a University of Minnesota student, lead a crowd in a cheer he made up for the football team. This makes him the first cheerleader. Soon after the University organized a "yell leader" squad of 6 males and used Campbell's cheer.

Women joined the sport around 1907 and became very dominant in it during World War II. There were no sports for woman to join at that time but they were allowed to cheer

In 1948 Lawrence Herkimer (herkie), a former cheerleader from Dallas, Texas organized the NCA. The National Cheerleaders Association provided a way for cheerleaders to have competitions or clinics. Herkimer also founded the Cheerleader and Danz Team. This was the first company to supply cheer uniforms. He also came up with the jump called the herkie (his name) and the spirit stick.

In the 1960's college cheerleaders began teaching high school students fundamental cheerleading skills and the National Football League started to organize professional cheerleading teams. 1965 Fred Gastoff introduced the Pom-pon to competitions.

In 1972-73 The Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders got the spotlight and their uniforms and dance moves became very popular.

In 1978 competitive cheer was introduced.

In the 1980's the more modern cheerleading was introduced with many difficult dance and stunt routines. AllStar teams began to form during this time as well. ESPN launched a nationwide national high school cheerleading competition.

In 2003 safety became a widespread concern developing the National Council for Spirit Safety and Education. Here is more information about the history

of cheerleading.