Learning to cheer
There is always something in life to cheer about, and without a doubt competitive team successes are proportionate to those who cheer them on. The origin of cheerleading in America goes back to the late 19th century when the first organized chants or cheers began to break out on American campuses such as Princeton and the University of Minnesota. By the early 20th century virtually all American institutions of learning had organized cheerleaders, but it wasn't until the 1970's that cheerleading began to receive recognition as a serious athletic activity. By then the skill level of leading cheers had dramatically changed from a student standing in front of the bleachers with a cone megaphone to sophisticated gymnastic maneuvers, partner stunts, pyramids, and advanced jumps. Universities now had professional cheerleading coaches, summer camps, offering scholarships and college credits to those able to make the highly competitive squad.
Today cheerleading enjoys a reputation of being an important leadership force on practically every high school and college campus in America and here on the Kenai Peninsula cheerleading training starts as early kindergarten, according to Jenniffer Rosin, owner of River City Cheer on K-Beach Rd. in the Save-U-More building behind Brown's Electric. Rosin has been coaching cheerleading at local high schools for the past 7 years and led the SoHi Stars to 3 State titles. Recently she decided to open her own All-Star cheerleading and tumbling academy, "I wanted something that was my own and felt starting my own business was the next step to take. Cheerleading is my passion and gymnastics is another one of my loves so I put them together and have developed programs for kids as young as 3 years and all the way through 12th grade," said Rosin.
River City Cheer is open every day after school from 3:00 to 8:00pm offering cheerleading and tumbling classes for grades K-12th and All-Star cheerleading for grades 9-12. The facility features an Olympic 48 X 42 ft spring loaded gymnastics floor, a 16 X 16 ft foam pit and a 50 ft tumble tramp."The spring floor gives the gymnasts quite a bit of height which makes it much easier to learn, but we train off the spring floor as well on panel mats to prepare the teams for a regular gymnasium floor," explained Rosin. River City Cheer will be offering a daily summer schedule with USGA safety certified gymnastics and cheerleading coaches. For more information call River City Cheer at 260-3192.
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