Cheer!: Inside the Secret World of College Cheerleaders

Front Cover
Simon and Schuster, Mar 10, 2009 - Social Science - 384 pages
21 Reviews
CHEER! is the Inspiration for the CW's Hot New Series, HELLCATS, Starring Alyson Michalka and Ashley Tisdale.

Think cheerleading is just pom-poms, "gimme an 'R,'" and pleated skirts? Not anymore. Take an exhilarating trip through the rough-and-tumble world of competitive college cheerleading....

College cheerleaders are extreme athletes who fly thirty feet in the air, build pyramids in which a single slip can send ten people crashing to the ground, and compete in National Championships that are won by hundredths of a point. Cheer! is a year-long odyssey into their universe, following three squads from tryouts to Nationals.

Meet the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjack cheerleaders from Nacogdoches, Texas, whoseem destined to win their fifth National Championship in a row -- until they are shaken by the departure of their longtime coach. Fall in love with the Southern University Jaguars from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, an African-American team hoping to raise the $17,000 needed to travel to Nationals and transform their near win several years ago into a Cinderella victory. Root for the University of Memphis All-Girl cheerleaders from Tennessee -- a team that continually struggles for the same respect Coed teams get -- when their quest for a national title is threatened by injuries and dropouts.

Along the way, meet unforgettable characters like Sierra, a cheerleading prodigy who has never lost a competition; Doug, who is in his eighth year as a college cheerleader; and Casi, one of the few female bases who can lift anothercheerleader on her own. These are people who risk horrifying injuries on a daily basis, battle demons like eating disorders and steroid use, and form intense bonds.

In the immersive tradition of Friday Night Lights, Cheer! is a captivating, all-access journey into a deeply absorbing world.
  

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - PatienceFortitude - LibraryThing

Like Pledge, which takes an inside look at sorority life, Cheer! focuses on competitive cheerleading, a strange corner of femininity I have never inhabited. An engrossing, if alien read. I stayed up ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ennie - LibraryThing

I love watching cheerleading, dance, gymnastic and similar synchronized routines (and was, after all, a majorette), so this book should have been up my alley. But the description of 3 very different ... Read full review

Contents

The Yale of College CheerleadingThe Stephen
3
Both Teams in Bring It On Rolled into OneThe
18
The SuperwomenThe university of Memphis AllGirl
31
have a hell of a Good Time
47
When a Coach Leaves a Program Either Drops Off
59
Coach Will Go Crazy If We Win That Award
76
hey Mom Im on ESPN
93
That Was the Most Fun Ive Ever had at a Game
107
Pretend Like Its Nationals Every Time
170
Agendas Are Pulling Them in Different Directions
190
natIOnalS
195
Practices have Been Scary Lately
197
he Can Do Rewinds with a horse
217
Im ShitMyPants Nervous
224
Its Like Race Car DrivingTheres Always a Chance Something Could Go Wrong
253
That Dream Slowly Melted Away
262

I Was Addicted to the Attention Not the Cocaine
121
I Know We Cheered Our hearts Out Cause My Voice Is hoarse
126
bId vIdeOS
147
They Need a Little Cussing Out Sometimes Bless Their hearts
149
That Pyramid Should Be Called the Wall of Death
297
The Cheerleaders Dictionary
347
Acknowledgments
353
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

Kate Torgovnick is a former associate writer/editor at Jane magazine. She writes about extreme athletes for The New York Times and her articles have also appeared in Newsweek, The International Herald Tribune, and The Daily News (New York). She grew up in Durham, North Carolina, and now lives in New York City.

Bibliographic information