When you go to a college or high school
sports event, you see cheerleaders. Cheerleaders are male and female. They
dress in the colors of their team. They jump and dance in front of the crowd
and shout the name of their team, Their job is to excite the crowd. Everybody
makes a lot of noise. They want their team to win the game.
The first cheerleader was a man. In
1898, Johnny Campbell jumped in front of the crowd at the University of
Minnesota and shouted for his team. He shouted, "Hoo-rah
Minn-e-so-tah!" This was the first organized shout, or "yell."
For the next thirty-two years cheerleaders were men only. Women were not cheerleaders
Today cheerleaders work in teams. They
practice special shouts, dances, and athletic shows. Often the women work
separately from the men. But cheerleaders are most exciting when men and women
work together. The men threw the women high in the air and catch them. The team
members climb on each other's shoulders to make a human pyramid. They yell and
dance too. It is like human fireworks.
Cheerleaders now have their own
contests. Every year there are local, state, and national contests for
cheerleaders. The best teams make new, faster, and more exciting shows to be
the best. And the crowd shouts. They want their cheerleaders to win.