As a professional movement coach, a mom, and a former cheerleader, I get it that my students want to be part of the ‘in crowd’ and be a part of dance team at school. But I’m also the one who listens to those popular girls explaining to me why they will be unable to participate 100% in the dance class their parents are paying for. I’m the one consulted about the injuries: the strains, sprains, tendinitis, and pain that comes from poor training, bad dance surfaces, and overall lack of proper supervision. Year after year I see young bodies sustain injuries that may become chronic lifelong problems.
Schools by and large hire former dance team participants that have little or no background in child development, teaching, injuries, or movement coaching. They incorrectly ‘stretch’ the team instead of properly warming them up before the group begins practice which consists of kicking their cold muscles while jumping on concrete. All of this is done in leather soled shoes that have no support.
So it isn’t the idea I’m opposed to. It’s the results.