July 29, 2010
The Economist: United States
"We're gymnasts, too, except no beams, no bars, no vault.” So says a cheerleader in “Bring It On”, a film about competitive cheerleading. The stereotype of a gaggle of pretty girls waving pompoms as they cheer the boys’ football teams is not quite accurate, cheerleaders feel. Many squads are made up of serious athletes who compete nationally with their flips and leaps. Bill Seely of USA Cheer, a cheerleading governing body, is one of those who have been pushing to change the name to “competitive stunts” or “group gymnastics”. This year eight universities formed the National Competitive Stunts and Tumbling Association (NCSTA), which will act as the governing body and coaches’ association for competitive cheer....
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