The History of Cheerleading

  • The Man Who Started It All

    The Man Who Started It All
    University of Minnesota student, Johnny Campbell, organized an official team to lead the crowd in cheers at football games. He is recognized as the world's first cheerleader.
  • Gamma Sigma

    Gamma Sigma
    The University of Minnesota created a “Yell Squad” composed of six males. They were the first male cheer fraternity- Gamma Sigma.
  • Texas A&M Forms "The Cheerleading State"

    Texas A&M brings Texas "The Cheerleading State," a group of males who led the crowd at football and basketball games.
  • Cheerleading Welcomes Women

    Cheerleading Welcomes Women
    Women finally joined cheerleading in 1923. Women would begin to dominate the sport in the years to come due to the coming of World War II and the high demand for servicemen.
  • Herkimer Makes His Mark

    Herkimer Makes His Mark
    The first-ever summer cheerleading clinic is held by Southern Methodist University cheerleader, Lawrence “Herkie” Herkimer at Sam Houston State Teacher’s College. Herkimer went on to develop concrete cheerleading terms that are still used today, such as the “Herkie” jump, the spirit stick and the pom pom.
  • Herkimer Strikes Again

    Herkimer Strikes Again
    Lawrence Herkimer forms the National Cheerleaders Association. NCA is the most prestigious cheerleading company in the world as it continues to serve many generations of cheerleaders and dancers worldwide today. NCA demonstrates hard work, preparation and valuable skills through cheerleading camps and competitions.
  • George W. Bush is Head Cheerleader

    George W. Bush is Head Cheerleader
    George W. Bush assumes the role of head cheerleader at Yale University.
  • Pop Warner Introduces Cheerleading

    Pop Warner Introduces Cheerleading
    In the 1970's, Pop Warner Little Scholars, a non-profit organization offering only youth football at the time, opens up a cheerleading program.
  • Title IX is Passed

    Title IX is passed by the US Congress. This prohibits discrimination against girls and women in federally funded education, including in athletics programs. With the freedoms of the bill, competitive sports were offered to female athletes, dramatically changing the face of cheerleading forever.
  • NFL Cheerleading Squads

    NFL Cheerleading Squads
    NFL cheerleading squads begin to gain national recognition through the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders' difficult routines and revealing outfits.
  • Stunting Comes to Life

    Stunting Comes to Life
    The first official stunt, a liberty, was created and taught at cheer camps nationwide. From now on, stunting was a popular way for cheerleaders to incorporate their skills and add difficulty into their routines.
  • CBS Airs Cheerleading

    CBS televises the Collegiate Cheerleading Championships for the first time.
  • All-Star Cheerleading is Formed

    All-Star Cheerleading is Formed
    In 1987, NCA created an All-Star Cheerleading division focusing on athletic training and competition purposes rather than sideline cheers and pep rallies. This would ultimately separate the school cheerleaders from the competitive cheerleaders.
  • Pop Warner Goes Disney

    The first Pop Warner National Cheerleading Competition is held in Disney World. Squads all over the country still compete at this National Competition today.
  • USA Takes the Gold

    The USA receives first place against 12 teams at the first-ever World Cheerleading Competition held in Germany.
  • Bring It On

    Bring It On
    The first cheerleading movie, "Bring It On," is released. The movie received mixed reviews for its inappropriate humor, but overall, it was successful. The film would go on to create four sequels following the Toro High School cheerleading squad.
  • Cheerleader Nation Airs

    Cheerleader Nation Airs
    On March 12, 2006, the first-ever cheerleading reality TV show airs. The show follows team members of the Dunbar High School's cheerleading squad during their road to the National Championship.