Did you know that the biggest cheer pyramid consisted of 60 people? Challenging but thrilling, cheerleading has been around since the 1860s. There are two types of cheerleading: competitive and sideline cheer. Competitive cheer consists of multiple teams performing a two-and-a-half-minute routine that’s judged by the difficulty and execution of the jumps, tumbles, and stunts. For sideline cheer, the main focus is to engage the stands by keeping the spirit high during various sporting events.
Roo Telman (‘24) is on the varsity cheer and track & field teams. They have been doing cheer for 10 years and started school cheer when they were in 3rd grade. Roo is an exceptionally talented athlete as well as an adventurous and passionate human. I sat down with Roo to dive a little deeper into their cheer career.
Q: What do you love most about cheer?
A: “My favorite part would have to be flying and tumbling. It is such a hard feeling to describe what it’s like, but it is the closest I’ve got to feeling like I’m actually flying. It’s such an amazing experience to land a pass, or finish a stunt and hear the crowd cheer. It’s probably one of the best feelings in the world.”
Q: What was the hardest skill for you to master and why?
A: “In my opinion, the skills themselves aren’t the hard part, it’s the mental aspect that’s the hardest part of any type of skill in cheer. The whole point of our sport is to throw people in the air or be thrown, and flip ourselves all with a smile. While the skill itself does require a lot of work, if you aren’t in the right mindset, you will not get that skill. No matter how many drills you do or how much you prep, as cheesy as it sounds, you have to have enough trust in yourself and teammates if you want to get it.”
Q: Are you hoping to continue your cheer career in college?
A: “Yes I am. I just started the recruitment process, and have a few scholarship offers right now. Cheer is something I’ve always been passionate about and loved to do. I just don’t think I could ever imagine not doing it. As soon as I discovered I could continue in college, I [knew I] wanted to continue.”
Q: Do you prefer sideline or competitive cheer?
A: “Each have their own perks, but competitive [cheer] is just a whole other level of cheer that I love so much.”
You can watch Girls Varsity Competitive Cheer on 1/18/23 in the Eastern Main Gym at the OK Gold Meet.
Featured image courtesy of Roo Telman.