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Hardworking Cheerleaders

            Many Jefferson students feel that all our cheerleaders do is shake their pompoms in the air and cheer for our schools team. How would they feel if they saw a whole different side of cheerleading? I can honestly say that I was one of those people until I walked into Santa's Cheer Shop competition at Prior Lake High school on Saturday, December 6th, 2014. When walking in, the first thing that will catch your eye is the endless amounts of cheerleaders from the age of 5 all the way to the age of 18 usually dressed in their uniforms and hair slicked back in a ponytail with a giant bow the color of their school. Once you get in the gym where teams perform their routine, you will see a large blue mat that covers most of the gym floor in the middle. Teams are split into divisions based on how many members are on a team. In minnesota there are the 4 main divisions a varsity team can be. Small which consists of up to 12 girls on the mat at one time, medium which is 13-16 girls, large which is 17-20, and finally super large which is 21-30 girls and is the biggest size a team can be. Teams have two minutes and thirty seconds to perform a routine that is required to have jumps, tumbling both standing and running, a stunt sequence which is when the flyers are thrown in the air, a cheer and a dance, and lastly a pyramid. There is usually two sets of bleachers on both sides for spectators to sit. As you will look around at all the people in the bleachers you will start to realize that there split up by clusters of cheer moms from different teams, kind of like a lunch room filled with different social groups at each table. Cheer moms treat competitions as a contest of who can look the best, everywhere you look you will see expensive everything from designer clothes and purses,professional cameras, to even Louis Vuitton ipad cases, cheer moms dress and come to impress. When it was time for the varsity team to perform I noticed how they had more teams watching them than any other team, not only that but when the emcee announced that they were up all eyes were on them.

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