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AASCF Victorian Cheerleading and Dance State Championships

Cheerleading is a fast paced performance sport that demands absolute perfection from everyone involved. Cheerleaders are always thriving for excellence and unity, achieved only through the dedication and teamwork of the squad. This past weekend saw teams from all over Victoria compete in the 2015 Cheerleading State Championships. There was glitter, bows, and fake tan in abundance, athletes of all ages running through their routines, and warming up everywhere. But the excitement of these preparations was nothing compared to what was bought to the stage. 

The creativity and originality of the routines was thrilling. The crowd would ignite every time a stunt hit, and anticipation and excitement could be felt throughout the entire packed venue. Unfortunately as I was competing myself I one watched a few routines, but upon arrival I could hear the crowds roar from across the train tracks. Pure Allstars dominated with an exhilarating and energetic routine, and Outlaws Allstars Shooters where dynamic and engaging. They were amazing; with zero deductions and a well deserved victory.       

There are numerous misconceptions about cheerleading. Due to its reputation in popular culture, the core values and characteristics have become somewhat murky. I will always remember my first competition, which my mother was lovely enough to come and watch. She was horrified we were tumbling across the floor, throwing people in the air, holding them up as they performed various motions, and – possibly the most outrageous part – we did not have pom poms. She expected happy, morale building yelling and waving amidst some form of choreographed dance routine. Not completely inaccurate: cheerleading utilizes stunts, tumbling, jumps, dancing and cheering. It is an entirely strenuous team event that requires every movement to be executed with enthusiasm and precision. It is not enough to perform strenuous and difficult movements, but cheerleaders have to make it look effortless and enjoyable.       

In my research I found this extract. It so perfectly encapsulates cheerleading I had to include it in its original form. 

Here’s to the people who say cheerleading isn’t a sport and that cheerleaders aren’t athletes. The very definition of sport is, and I quote, “an athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature. We practice just as much as you do. Every day of the week, 2 hours. We condition, we run, we do ab workouts and pushups and planks. No, we don’t lift weights, we lift our athletes - and we hold them 10-15 feet in the air until our arms shake. Until our legs quiver. Don’t doubt the flyers either. We have more muscle than you seem to think. The amount of balance, leg muscle, and core tightness it takes to stay in the air is unbelievable to someone who has never done it before. We run full speed at nothing, then flip in the air, twist, and land on our feet. We jump. We jump high-without a trampoline. Concentrating on pointed toes, extended legs, tight arms, jump height, facials, and smiling Ever based a basket toss? You get blood blisters on your hands. Softball sized bruises start to appear like magic. As for the flyers, if you’re not tight, expect to have your back jammed into your bases knee. Don’t forget about the back spots. We are the lifeguards of cheerleading. We save lives everyday. We get concussions, hit, and rammed into the ground. Without us, your flyers would be injured. Sprained ankles, broken fingers, and pulled muscles don’t slow us down. You practice like it doesn’t hurt. Now you have 2.5 minutes on a paneled mat. You have 1000 people in the crowd every time you go on that floor. 4 judges. 2.5 minutes of horrendous physical activity and we make it look easy. Perfection doesn’t exist, but here we go reaching for it anyways. You hit or you miss. Toes weren’t pointed? Deduction. Didn’t stick your tumbling? Deduction. Stunt didn’t hit? Deduction. You all think were the prissy girls who always have to have perfect hair and makeup. You’re wrong. At practice, we have messy buns and running makeup. Competitions? Sweats until we absolutely have to get ready. Do you think that cheer uniform is comfortable? It’s not. Sure the hair and make up is fun and gets us in the mood to perform, but ultimately it’s to unite us as a team. To be uniformed, and have the same look. Think we don’t eat & are obsessed with being skinny? Good joke. We love food. Not all cheerleaders are mean girls who think they rule the school. We have really good grades and don’t hang out with the cool kids and go parties every weekend. We don’t all have starting quarterback football boyfriends or even any boyfriends at all. People see us as stereotypes. Its wrong. Cheerleading is in the top 5 most dangerous sports in the world. Did you catch that? Sport. Proven to be in the Top 5 most dangerous, and you still have the nerve to say it’s not a sport? You’ve got to be joking. Cheerleading is something you have to want and work for. You have to love it and have a passion for it. So you doubt us? Fine. Well prove you wrong. Say we’re not athletes? Okay. Come to a practice. Compete with us. You’ll think differently. Say what we do is easy? Try it. I dare you.
— Unknown Author

The below are photos taken from the AASCF Facebook page of the event. I have included as many of the club and teams names as possible, but please comment/email us with details of the ones we have missed. 

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