Tuesday, June 06, 2006

A History of Cheerleading!

Book Review: Cheerleader: An American Icon by Natalie Guice Adams & Pamela J. Bettis

I met Pamela Bettis a couple of months ago when she came to discuss cheerleading. This is a very straightforward, neutral take on cheerleading and is extremely enjoyable. They discuss how cheerleading developed from a mens only squad in the late 1890's into today's ESPN competitions. They talk about the huge industry around pom pons, uniforms, and cheer camps. They discuss adult squads, as in cheerleading over the age of 60, and the CHEER groups that are in several major U.S. cities. Radical cheerleading is also covered, as in using cheerleading techniques in large scale protests such as those usually seen around the World Economic Forum or World Bank meetings.

I should note that this book supports the idea that cheerleading instills confidence and many leadership qualities into young women. It takes guts to try to lead audiences of hundreds or more.

I enjoyed this book a lot and its not because I was a cheerleader, I think its because it is so informative on where this sport has come from and where it is going.

Kim's Grade: A

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