Harmon dispels cheer myths

I’ve been warned:

“Don’t start writing about cheerleading, or they’ll expect it all the time.”

I’ve been told:

“Cheerleading is not a sport.”

And I’m aware of the prevailing perception:

“Cheerleaders are snobs who are in it only to be popular.”

But we’ve got another week or so until the fall sports seasons kicks into high gear, so why not throw caution to the wind and examine what it really means to be a cheerleader?

Consider this Mythbusters: Pom-Pom Edition.

Picture a cheerleader as portrayed on television or the movies and this scene comes to mind: A group of primped up cheerleaders parading, usually in slow motion, down the middle of a crowded hallway, hands on hips with complete confidence that they rule the school, ready to bully their way into whatever they desire.

“The whole stereotype thing, I hate that so much,” said Greenfield-Central senior cheer captain Allie Dickmann, also a standout track athlete, National Honor Society member and one of the nicest young adults you could hope to meet.

“It’s a lot of what the media puts out there. You see it even on Disney Channel and all these different shows and books. You read about cheerleaders being the snobs; the Mean Girls.”

Sandra Williams, Dickmann’s senior cheer teammate, said that Hollywood has it all wrong. 

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