How cheering turned into "Cheerleading"
I am a cheerleader and I was interested in how basic cheering of fans in the stands turned into the sport of Cheerleading. How did cheering turn into "cheerleading"? The results were very interesting and actually surprising...
What seems like a female dominated activity today, Cheerleading actually originated as an all male sport. Cheerleading has morphed from being percieved as a strong and spirited male activity to being stereotyped as an activity meant for fit, pretty, flexible and “dumb” girls. Actually, Men dominated cheer squads and women weren’t allowed to join any team until the early 1920s and women did not heavily start becoming cheerleaders until the forties.
The sport of cheerleading was started by a guy Johnny Campell in 1880 ( around the time that fight songs were becoming popular) who picked up a megaphone and led the crowd with cheers when the U of M football team was on a loosing streak. The team was led to victory and the theory that having cheerleaders really can motivate a team to win. Also for almost 20 years cheerleading was solely for men. “During this decade, cheerleaders added tumbling and acrobatics to their routines, and a University of Oregon cheerleader used flashcards for the first time. Although women were joining teams in the ‘20s, it wasn’t until the ‘40s that they joined in large numbers, since so many college-aged men went off to fight in World War II.” When women joined, that is when tumbling, dancing and stunting joined cheer as well. The whole point of cheer was to fire up the crowd and draw as many people to the games to cheer as posssible. Therefore, the style of dance and uniform changed to draw more people to the games, AKA the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders and the Lakers Girls. This type of cheer style still lives on today.
History Timeline of Cheerleading
I found this information by going into google and typing in "the history of cheer". I then found some more information like the cheer timeline by searching on "related searches" etc.