The student publication of Fort Zumwalt West High School

The Solitaire

The student publication of Fort Zumwalt West High School

The Solitaire

The student publication of Fort Zumwalt West High School

The Solitaire

Art or Sport

Competitive cheerleaders make their case for cheer’s categorization
Photo provided by Kayleigh Schumer
Kayleigh Schumer performing at a high school basketball game.

When the word sport is said, typically the first thing that comes to mind for people are the activities involving a ball. There are a variety of different physical activities that some consider to be sports and others consider to be hobbies or art forms. When it comes to competitive cheerleading, there are typically many differing opinions with reasons to back it up, according to

Many individuals who are cheerleaders themselves believe that competitive cheerleading should be considered a sport. Some would say they are biased, but they are the ones who know the most about it.

A high school cheerleader mentions the significance of cheerleaders traveling all around the world for competitions and meets just like every other sport. It also is not something that just anyone can do.

“I think that not high school, but competitive cheer should be considered a sport because of how much traveling and practice it takes,” sophomore Allaine Price said. “Competitive cheerleaders compete with other teams around the world similar to other sports such as gymnastics, which is considered a sport, so why not cheerleading?”

Cheerleaders aim to give a seamless, well-executed performance that looks effortless. Trust and teamwork are very important aspects of what makes cheerleading a sport.

“I think, overall, cheerleading should be considered a sport because it takes time and effort to hit dances and even if it doesn’t look tough, cheerleaders are just as disciplined and conditioned as any other sport,” sophomore Alexandra Adkins said. “It also takes effort to lift girls in the air and do tricks while also trusting your bases, something not a lot of people can do.”

Those that are in competitive cheerleading feel that their hard work and dedication should be recognized because the public does not understand the difficulty of most of it.

“It should be considered a sport because they practice just as much as every other sport if not more, and it’s very difficult to do the things that they do mentally and physically,” sophomore Kayleigh Schumer said. “It’s like gymnastics. Even though it’s not in the Olympics, they are very similar in competition and work ethic.”

Some of the stunts and tricks that cheerleaders have to master and practice in order to succeed are explained and claimed to be hard skills.

“Competitive cheerleading should 100% be considered a sport because a lot of the things they do with their stunts and tumbling are really complicated and it’s so fun to watch the routines,” sophomore Nicole Brewster said. “Some of the aspects that make it a sport are the basket tosses, pyramids and tumbling passes that include back handspring fulls or standing fulls.”

Some people would still shake their heads and say that cheerleading is a hobby or an art and cannot be considered a sport.

“Cheerleading is essentially a captivating visual experience, where the emphasis goes beyond physical progress to include artistic expression. Routines, synchronized stunts and dance sequences showcase the creative skills of cheerleading squads, aligning more with art than the strict rules of sports,” Aiden Mccaffery said in his article “Cheerleading as Art, Not Sport,” according to

“A hobby is something you do every once in a while and even relaxes you a little while competitive cheerleading is basically all you do because it’s a commitment that takes up all your time,” Brewster said. “Sometimes, you even have to choose between going to something you were looking forward to and going to cheer practice and at the end of the day, you will choose cheer whether you want to or not.”