And it was the worst. There I said it. Let me start from the beginning. In 8th grade I had a friend who really wanted to try out for the freshman cheerleading squad so she asked me to go try out with her so she wouldn’t be alone. Being the awesome friend I am, I reluctantly went. Long story short, she ended up quitting halfway through try outs and I somehow ended up with a spot on the freshman cheerleading squad. Yey?
It’s not that I was particularly good at cheerleading, actually I wasn’t very good at that part, but I had danced for years at a dance studio and my moves were pretty awesome. I was a basketball cheerleader for Freshman year, and somehow made it on Sophomore year, but looking back it’s pretty obvious how out of place I was and here is why...
The events that happened at my first cheerleading camp should have been my first clue this was not for me. Cheerleading camp for me is probably what dog boarding feels like for your dog. You are sent away for a week and put into a small room with only the few things you brought with you. There is a lot of barking (cheer chanting) as you walk and some of the other dogs are mean to you. Sure, they have fun activities planned but you’d rather just be at home.
The Other Girls
I’m not one of those girls who claim they can’t get along with other girls, but when you are in 8th grade/ a freshman in high school it’s a whole other ballgame. If there were 20 girls on the squad I was probably cool with 4 maybe 5 of them. The others, well some completely ignored me, some gave me dirty looks, and one actually wanted to fight me. I really wanted to be accepted and to fit in but I wasn’t and I didn’t. I quickly came to terms with this and tried to stay out of their way. It wasn’t hard because I was never invited to anything, ha!
The Spirit Stick
If you’ve ever seen the movie Bring It On you are aware of the spirit stick. But if you haven’t seen this critically acclaimed film, it’s a stick. You decorate. And you can’t let it touch the ground or else hell literally breaks open and the devil himself comes up and pulls you down for eternity. It’s embarrassing.
I can’t really describe how much I loathed cheerleading competitions. But I did. So much so that the sight of a girl with a ribbon tied in a bow around her ponytail still sends me into nightmarish flashbacks. Here’s an easy way to recreate one in your own home.
Step One - Create the Environment: Turn the heater up to about 95 degrees. Shut yourself in a small bathroom with as many strangers as possible. Make sure they all talk in high pitch squeals for the duration of this fabulous event.
Step Two - Get Ready: Now, start spraying hairspray and throwing glitter. When most of the glitter and hairspray is in your mouth turn on that Hey Micky You’re So Fine song at full blast.
Step Three - Compete: Sit there for 8 hours; it’s not your turn. Then get up and move around for 3 minutes as vigorously as possible. Resist the urge to stop when that muscle in your calf cramps up because you've been sitting there for 8 hours. And smile!
You then win a toilet paper award but you don’t get to actually keep it. The school does, in a glass case, under the stairs of the abandoned annex. And you’re done! Sounds super fun right?
Ok, all jokes aside I have to be honest, when I didn’t make the squad Junior year I was pretty devastated. Like, I’m going to sit in this bathtub with my clothes on and eat ice cream devastated. I remember my Mom actually telling me this was probably for the best. That I wasn’t the “cheerleader type” and I could focus more on what I actually like to do which was dancing ballet, jazz, tap and hip hop at the studio. Turns out my Mom was right, as usual. The moral of the story? Listen to your Mom.
I'm Jackie, an artist, illustrator, and friend to ghosts, monsters, and aliens. This blog is full of DIY projects, stories, and things I think are cool. Stay weird.