Monday, April 26, 2010

Cheerleading Worlds and The Future Of Cheer Fashion

This week was one of the most exciting weeks for a cheerleader. The olympics of cheerleading - Cheerleading Worlds took place. First there is ICU worlds, this is a fairly new competition. A Country's best athletes get together and make a team or two and send them to compete here! Right after is ISAF Worlds. ISAF is for allstar teams from all over the world to send there best teams to compete. It's amazing to watch the routines from these competitions.

Luckily you can watch all of the ICU worlds online for free on there website! ICU Worlds Videos. I loved Team Canada All Girl's Pyramid. Its so fun seeing countrys you didn't know were big on cheerleading kick ass.

Finding ISAF Cheer videos is a little harder. You can subscribe to their media player for $20-30.00 a year. I've previously done it but it sucks having to pay. Most of them eventually end up on youtube, just not always in the best quality.

ISAF always brings up a somewhat controversial topic among the cheer world. Fashion is something that can be hard to talk about in this sport. Mainly because we want to be taken seriously as athletes. On the other hand one of cheerleading's appeals is its flashiness. A great uniform can make a team standout. Even if it is looked down upon, uniform's can be a big influence on what team you join. When talking with cheer friends, uniforms are usually always debated.

Cheer fashion has been evolving rapidly in the last few years. ISAF is the ideal place to show off a uniform. It may not affect a score but a good uniform can leave a strong impression on the audience and cheer world. The most elite teams are known for taking risks in their uniforms. At first it was small changes. A little metallic trim, shorter skirts, bigger bows. Then it got a little crazier, off shoulder tops, skin cutouts, full metallic, zebra print. Not every team is like this though. Here in Canada team's have stayed rather traditional. Most teams have crop tops with solid colors. I have a feeling things may be getting flashier this season though.

The part fashion plays may be getting even more influential in terms of cheer. Top Gun Allstars is known as one of the best if not the best All Star team in Cheerleading. They recently teamed up with Olympic athlete Shawn Johnson to create a line of practice gear and Cheer Uniforms called GK. The line is about as flashy as you can get. Gone are the pleated skirts, replaced with uniforms that are a cross between dance and gymnastics wear.

(Designs by GK)

When Top Gun took the floor this week they started a number of conversations. Their uniforms are different from anything ever seen in All Star Cheerleading. They looked more like NFL cheerleaders. The opinions so far haven't been so positive. Can this be called a cheerleading uniform? If so what now seperates cheerleading uniforms from dance costumes. Should uniforms be designed for the best athletic performance or are they now accepted as a performance element? The socks/boots seem like they would cause some difficulty stunting.

Top Gun also debuted a different uniform not even a month ago at NCA Nationals. I'm not sure if it was the same team from the gym but both uniforms were made by the GK line. This uniform is more of a representation of the current stylish all star team. Top Gun went a bit above and beyond here with a necklace accessory. If this is in fact another different uniform then Top Gun is really using its athletes as models.

Where is the future of cheer fashion going? Are uniforms going to look more like gymnastic/dance costumes? Or NFL cheerleaders? Are pleated skirts becoming completely irrelevant? And how much of a part is fashion going to play in terms of popular cheer gyms?


Cosmo said...

I love cheerleading!! Your post was so inspiring to me!!

Anonymous said...

THATS SO ANNOYING!!! WE ARE NOT the dancers you see on football fields or basketball gyms .. i dont want shorts as a uniform and stunting in boots WTH? .. thats depressing.. cheerleaders are not supposed to have uniforms like that.

Keely Valentine said...

thanks cosmo! glad you like the post!

Anonymous said...

I love cheerleading and I love japanese fashion to!^^
But those uniforms were a bit over the limit, we're not dancers!

Your blog is great by the way!♥^^

Anonymous said...

Fantastic article! I love the outfits. They are up and coming! These outfits ROCK!!!

Anonymous said...

Actually, we didn't wear boots. Good job paying attention there. There knee high socks. And, what we do on floor, pretty much sets us apart from football cheerleaders, no matter what we wear. Let's not forget who the 16 times Worlds champions are.

Anonymous said...

I am LOVING the new cheer styles, although personal preference for me is skirts over shorts. Also it's interesting to watch all star trends vs collegiate uniform trends because they are really quite different