First and foremost, I am downright JAZZED that there is an all-star cheerleading reality show on national television. All-star cheerleading deserves to be known for everything that it is. Cheerleaders are often stereotyped as shallow, dramatic, and petty. But, there’s so much more to it than that. It’s been 16 years (!!) since Bring It On came out, and it’s about time competitive cheerleading got some more time on the main stage.
Cheer Squad debuted on Freeform in the United States August 22nd after premiering earlier this year in Canada. It follows the two-time World Champion, and 6-time World medalist team (not including Worlds 2016), Great White Sharks. They compete in the International Open All Girl Level 5 division and they have been quite successful, to say the least.
After one episode, I can tell that Cheer Squad gives an accurate sense of what it’s like to be an all-star cheerleader. And on top of that, the Great Whites seem extremely nice and humble, shattering any preconceived cheerleader stereotype.
TL;DR I dig the show.
14 Things Cheer Squad Got Right About All-Star Cheerleading:
1. Cheerleading is often the ultimate sacrifice
The show starts right before Great White Sharks head to Worlds 2015. Cheerleading is a time-intense sport (almost year-round), and before Worlds, you can kiss your social life goodbye.
2. “ They’re thirsty and I’m even more thirsty and everyone thinks I’m kidding but I’m serious” – Knoxy
First of all, Knoxy, you are my spirit animal. We’ve all cheered with Knoxy. Keep doing you girl.
3. “Cheer is my boyfriend”
A sentiment shared by many a cheerleader.
4. “Hitting your routine is the holy grail in cheerleading” – Ali
If you don’t hit every skill at Worlds, you won’t win. Simple as that.
5. “Do we have targets on our back? Absolutely” – Power
It’s hard to win Worlds once, it’s extremely hard to win it back-to-back. If you’re at the top everyone’s got their aim at you.
6. Some days are harder than others and things won’t always go as planned
Every cheerleader has been there, some days that stunt just isn’t going to hit and it’s super frustrating.
7. That moment of “what if?” before competing
Competing can be a terrifying experience and those moments right before you hit the mat are intense. Even the most prepared teams can’t escape the pre-comp nerves.
8. “I don’t know if I’ll ever be apart of something like this ever again” – LA
At some point, every cheerleader has to hang up the cheer shoes and move on with their life. When it comes down to it, it’s a tough pill to swallow.
9. That moment when you hit at competition and the crowd goes crazy
There’s no better feeling than going to Worlds and hitting your routine. The crowd goes crazy, your coach goes crazy…. and then you win Worlds! (sometimes)
10. Injuries absolutely suck
All-star cheerleading is dangerous and injuries are all-too-common. No one likes to sit out for injuries, especially right before Worlds.
11. The special bond between a coach and an athlete
There’s something special about the bond between an athlete and their couches. It’s amazing to see the amount of respect that Ali has with her teammates, and specifically how LA came to Ali in person to tell her about her new life plans.
12. When tryouts is low-key the most stressful thing you’ve ever done
“Everyone and their mother is here” – everyone wants to be a World Champion, and competition to get on a World Champion caliber team is real. Once a team wins Worlds more than once, they’ve proved their training regiments work and people want to be apart of that.
13. “New people are hungrier and have something to prove.” -Ali
With every year comes a new group of people. As Ali said, new people are often hungrier and feel like they have something to prove, which in turn keeps veterans on their toes.
14. Cheerleaders are passionate.
Cheer Squad did a fantastic job at highlighting the passion cheerleaders have for our sport.
All-in-all, I think Cheer Squad is a hit, and I’m excited to watch Cheer Sport Great White Sharks’ journey through the 15-16 season. Check out their Worlds history below and watch their 2015 World Champion routine. Cheer Squad will air for ten days straight starting Monday August 22 at 10pm EST/9c on Freeform. You can also watch the show online the day after it airs, here.
A brief history of the Great White Sharks
Great White Sharks have seven total Worlds Medals including the 2016 season. Here’s their story:
Worlds 2007: Silver
Worlds 2009: Bronze
Worlds 2012: Silver
Worlds 2013: Bronze
Worlds 2014: Gold
Worlds 2015: Gold
Worlds 2016: Bronze