The Evolution Of Pep Squads

852 Words Sep 22nd, 2015 4 Pages
“Evolution of Pep Squads” “Rah, rah, rah! Ski-u-mah! Hoo-rah! Hoo-rah! Varsity! Varsity! Varsity, Minn-e-so-ta,” yelled Thomas Peebles in 1889 after transferring from Princeton University, where he learned several chants and cheers from a guy named Johnny Campbell. Campbell formed the first ever pep squad at a Princeton vs. Rutgers game in 1869. The all-male squad gained national attention, and other schools and universities, such as the University of Minnesota, developed their own teams. Around the 1920’s, students started adding simple stunts, tumbling, and jumps to their cheers to entertain the crowd more. They added pom poms, french for “tuft of ribbons,” for visual effect in the 30’s. In 1939, World War II began and the male cheerleaders were sent to fight. In result, women took over. Today, 90% of cheerleaders are female. However, it was not until the 1970’s when cheerleaders acquired an abundant amount of attention. The Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders, known for their high kicks and short skirts, popularized cheerleading. Although, some cheerleaders wanted to gain popularity and entertain crowds by using their skills, rather than wearing skimpy outfits. Young Americans, both male and female, grew eager to learn new skills, and eventually adapted the same competitive drive as the athletes on the field or court, and over several years, warped pep squads into highly-competitive college teams across the nation. Chants and cheers were improved with new motions, such as the…

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