Cheer Competition

Last night I went to the Cheer Competition. I’m not sure how to describe a cheer competition, but I’ll try.

A cheer competition feels a lot like a marching band competition except that the competitors are in the stands and the audience is on the field. There are two groups of competitors for each team. One is a fairly small group of upper classmen who dress in fancy costumes and dance. The other group is a large group of freshmen who wear matching uniforms and gloves and sit in the stands. The freshmen sing songs and perform coordinated hand movements that look really cool. Despite the dancing, the cheerleaders look a lot like drum majors. They shout out commands and sometimes move their arms in big sweeping movements on the beat. They look like they’re conducting the group of freshmen, but there is no pattern to their arm movements.

The cheerleaders and the freshmen face each other, which means that audience members have to sit behind the cheerleaders. It’s very difficult to see the cheerleaders sometimes. I didn’t mind because the freshmen were much more fun to watch. They wore colorful gloves and had props that they held up to make designs, spell words, etc. Some of them wore capes so that they could make designs by standing up and turning around. One of the groups had a seasons theme. For the rainy season, all of the freshmen held up raindrops. Then they moved their hands so that it looked like it was raining. Really neat! But like I said, it’s hard to describe. I hope the pictures will help.

Many of the performances included fireworks. This made for an exciting moment towards the end of the competition. One team set off a firework WAY too close to the audience. The flaming bits of firework rained down on the audience. I didn’t get hit, but the girl sitting next to me was burned by it. (She wasn’t in flames or anything).

Apparantly, the education department has a long history of winning the Cheer competition. They take it very seriously. Last year they lost to the science department and everyone cried. People say that it wasn’t fair because most of the judges happened to be from the science department. The education department lost to the science department again this year. The education students were poor losers again. Many students have been saying that the education department’s performance was better than the science department’s performance. I have to disagree. The education department was good, but the science department was amazing! They were the only group to sing their songs in harmony. They picked some fun songs to sing, including “I feel good” by James Brown and El Nin-yo by Tata Young. (I hate the El Nin-yo song, but it cracked me up to hear it sung by an army of stiff and serious-looking science students in uniforms.) Their hand movements were much more complicated that everyone else’s too. They were great.

The only other interesting thing I can think of to say is that every group was required to sing one of the king’s compositions. I wasn’t familiar with the songs, but I could tell which ones they were. They kind of had a boogie-woogie jazz feel to them.

Click here to see pictures. Most of the pictures are of the education students.

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