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Archive for September, 2008

Becoming a Laker Girl at the age of 19, Paula Abdul is arguably one of the most famous former cheerleaders.  And while her career has taken her from pop star to American Idol judge, cheerleading has remained an important part of her life.  According to the biography page on her website, she “continues to honor her roots by running dance and cheerleading camps, competitions and scholarship programs throughout the country and has never, ever, forgotten her first “break” as a Los Angeles Laker Girl.”

Paula may even make her love of cheering into a television show.  The National Enquirer has reported that she’s going to produce and star in reality show about cheerleading on Fox.  Given the source, we don’t know if this is 100 percent true, but we’ll cross our fingers and hope that Paula gets a chance to redeem herself after “Hey Paula.”  

 

 

 

 

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Following last week’s enormously successful and enjoyable private rough-cut screening of “Blood, Sweat & Cheers,” it’s time to fine tune the documentary and get ready to spread the spirit!

We just wrapped up our application to be considered for the prestigious Sundance Film Festival and are currently researching which of the thousands of festivals out there would be the best fit for”B, S & C.”
All too often, cheerleaders of all ages and levels are portrayed as ditzy, blonde snobs.  And quite frankly, we’re hoping this behind-the-scenes journey will help dispel that harmful stereotype.

If you have a favorite film festival or independent theater you believe would be a perfect match for “Blood, Sweat & Cheers,” please contact us at  contact@cheerleadingfilm.com

On another note, if you have any friends who continue to insist that cheerleading is not a “real” sport — and it obviously deserves Olympic status compared to some of the silly “sports” now in competition — here’s some mandatory reading from the Washington Post.

 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/09/05/AR2008090503099.html

Not only does the Post meticulously document that cheerleading is certainly as physically challenging as football, injurywise, but their fantastic slideshow proves we’re much prettier to look at (the guys, too).

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Apparently some people will do anything to be a cheerleader…

According to a story by the Associated Press, a 33-year-old woman in Green Bay, Wisconsin was charged with stealing the identity of her 15-year-old daughter to enroll in a local high school and join the cheerleading team.  Court documents say that “the defendant stated she wanted to get her high school degree and be a cheerleader because she had no childhood and was trying to regain a part of her life she missed.”  If she’s convicted, she might face a $10,000 fine and six years in prison.

Is it really worth all that to become popular?

You can read the entire story by going here:

 

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As the Olympics recently wrapped up in Beijing, I began to wonder- could cheerleading ever become an Olympic event?  Sure, there is debate over whether or not it is a sport in the first place.  At my high school, being a cheerleader meant that you were popular, not that you were a great athlete.  But at many schools across the country, cheerleaders are hardcore.  They put in several of hours of training a day to master complete control of their bodies.  The tumbling they do could certainly rival the floor routines of many gymnasts.  Some might argue that the scoring would be too subjective, but the same argument could certainly be made for events like gymnastics or diving.  If ping-pong is an Olympic sport, then why not cheerleading?  Cross your fingers, and maybe we’ll see it in London in 2012.

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According to a study released last month by the National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research at UNC-Chapel Hill, cheerleading accounts 65.1% of all injuries to the brain or spine among high school age girls.  No other sport for girls even comes close to this figure.  Even more minor injuries such as sprain and strains are on the rise.  Because safety is increasingly important as stunts become ever-more impressive, here is a list of tips from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) on how to keep everyone safe.

* A cheerleading squad should practice and perform only under the direction of a qualified and         knowledgeable adviser or coach.

* Make sure the environment is suitable for the activity. For example, cheerleading practice should take place on a surface with the appropriate matting — not on hard surfaces such as concrete or asphalt, wet or uneven surfaces, or surfaces with obstructions.

* All squads should receive thorough training in proper spotting techniques.

* Never build a stunt without the coach present.

* All stunts, including pyramids and basket tosses, should be reviewed and approved by the coach prior to    execution.

* Familiarize your squad with the most common cheerleading injuries (sprains, strains, head and neck  injuries, fractures and dislocations and how to treat them. Establish a chain of command (coach, assistant  coach, captain, co-captain and so on) that you use in case an injury occurs.

 

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For those of you who aren’t familiar with the town of Burlington, MA, (population: 22,800/location: 12miles NW of Boston) cheerleading is in their blood. Burlington is a town where cheerleading trumps football, camaraderie among neighbors is in the town’s bylaws and national trophies are a rite of passage. So it was no surprise when more than 200 devoted family members and friends of The Burlington Patriot’s Pop Warner Cheerleaders packed the house at a Special Private Screening of “Blood, Sweat and Cheers” at the Burlington AMC Theater.

After spending nearly two years as a surrogate “Burlingtonian,” there was no doubt in my mind the town would rally together once again in support of the Burlington Pop Warner Cheerleaders, but for a theater to be standing room only, early on a Saturday morning–when cheerleading, football, and other fall sports are on the already jam packed schedule of Burlington families– was unbelievably gratifying to a filmmaker.

Perhaps the most touching moment was when Dave Colangelo, President of Burlington Pop Warner looked over to see the entire Junior Midget team of 2007 (the stars of Blood, Sweat and Cheers) holding hands as they announced the winners at the Pop Warner National Competition up on the screen. While the team obviously knew the outcome of the competition, they relived that moment with same unity that carried them through their competing season. The bonds these girls developed over years of cheering together are clearly unbreakable.

There is something unique and special about a small-town and the great lengths they go to to support their neighbors and community. It was an incredible experience to be let into the homes and lives of this tight-knit community and a true pleasure to share their struggles, triumphs and passion for cheerleading on the big screen. I thank the town of Burlington for entrusting their story with us!

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Wow! After a year of sharing one Pop Warner squad’s emotional roller coaster ride — and after another year locked in our edit room — we are thrilled to present a special private rough cut screening of “Blood, Sweat & Cheers” tomorrow!

Tomorrow is dedicated to the community of Burlington, Massachusetts — a spirited New England town that boasts 11 national championships over the past 20 years. And a community that has been so warm and welcoming to a group of strangers seeking to become the ultimate cheerleading fans.

When we first mingled with the cheerleaders, coaches and parents in the Patriots camp, we had no idea how passionate we would become about the nuances of “facials” and the “standing tuck.”

We can’t wait to see how the Patriots girls react as they see themselves flip and tumble on the giant screen (Burlington’s AMC Theater). We’re looking forward to the reactions of their parents and grandparents — and little sisters who’ll soon be continuing the cheer legacy.

But tomorrow is also about you — cheerleaders of all ages, levels and abilities — and the mentors who inspire you!

“Blood, Sweat & Cheers” captures the universal joys of girlhood and the special camaraderie of cheerleading that will last a lifetime. As we prepare for the film festival circuit and other special movie screenings across America, please get in touch with us about how to host a “Blood Sweat & Cheers” event in your own community!

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