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Tradition of Cheerleading in the USA
Olya Bezvushko

Generally, cheerleading is a sport, which is conveyed as a combination of dancing steps and the elements of calisthenics and gymnastics. The performance is usually held during sport events (games and matches to cheer the spectators, and at cheerleading competitions. Cheerleaders notice attention to the event and encourage audience participation.

According to some leading newspapers, it is the most quintessential of American sports. It became popular after the beginning of broadcasting of cheerleading competition internationally and the the worldwide release of the 2000 film “Bring it On”.

While living and studying in America you can get a chance to enjoy the show of such cheerleading teams, as:

     - School-sponsored. Most American middle schools, high schools, and colleges have organized squads made up solely of students. Several colleges that compete at cheerleading competitions offer special scholarships. A cheerleading team may compete outside of sporting events (local, regional, and national competitions), but their main task is to cheer for sporting events and encourage audience participation. It is a year round sport, which starts with tryouts during the spring of the preceding school year, organized camp as a team, practices, attendance at various sporting events and ending with National competition season typically from winter through spring.

     - Middle school. It is evolving just after high school group dividing started. The cheerleaders cheer at basketball and football games. They also perform at pep rallies and compete against other schools from local competitions all the way to nationals. Cheerleading in middle school is a two-season sport, taking place in the fall and winter.

     - High school. There are usually two teams in each school: senior and junior ones. The school spirit aspect of cheerleading involves cheering, supporting, and “pumping up” the crowd at basketball games, football games and sometimes even wrestling meets. Due to competition aspect cheerleading has become its own sport. There are year-round practices, cheer camps, and competitions through the fall and winter.

     - College. There are squads in most universities and colleges. They consist of both men and women. Unlike high school cheerleading, college squads are allowed to perform difficult stunts like rewinds, very high pyramids, flipping and twisting basket tosses. Most college squads don't compete, but those who compete – do this compete nationally.

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