Things that I, without fail am excited for about every Super Bowl Sunday:
- The kickass party my roommates and I throw
- Tom Brady making his annual appearance
- Buffalo Chicken Dip
- And, of course, some good ol’ Football
However this year, I am excited about Quinton Peron and Napoleon Jinnies.
I didn’t’ know who they were either until I saw Good Morning America running a special on the first two men on a cheerleading squad at the Super Bowl. You might be thinking the same thing I did, “What’s the big deal? There are plenty of men on cheerleading squads all over the country.” But think of how progressive this is for such a mainstream sporting event! This is actually a huge deal to me!
Who are you?
Right, okay, some background on my perspective. I grew up an athlete. My parents had me in every sport imaginable, until one stuck–basketball. I have vivid memories of being in the lay-up line while the cheerleaders were practicing on the side lines. I would glance over and pretend that I didn’t care what they were doing. Except I was actually intrigued. You see, I had just started to dance myself. I was take cues from my other team members and paying the dancers and their talents no mind. Well joke’s on me now! I soon left basketball behind, and the sport of dance became my passion.
I quickly found the similarities between sports and dance and I gained so much appreciation for cheerleaders and dancers at any sporting event (Specifically the Miami Heat dancers! Go Heat!)
I refer to dancers as athletes because of what their bodies require on a daily basis. Similar to an athlete, dancers are using their bodies to make a living. Dancers have to constantly be training to keep up their chops to be able to physically achieve what is asked of them at any job.
My personal cheerleading experience goes as far as auditioning to be a Celtics dancer in college and not making the cut. But what I learned at that audition is that cheerleading is no different than dance. In a way, it physically requires more especially when tumbling and gymnastics gets involved.
Cheerleading is tough
Cheerleading squads on any NFL team (or any professional team) have a tough job. They are required to keep fans engaged throughout the entire game even when not performing routine. Not to mention the amount of rehearsal, training, and the time in the gym. If you’ve been to a game, you’re witnessing the grand culmination of hours and hours of practice and training—Not at all unlike the players. It has also been a predominately female driven sport, so having two men grace the Superbowl with their presence is quite significant.
As time has gone on and society has progressed forward, men have become accepted in the dance and cheer community. It is so significant that men are being included into the sport of cheerleading specifically on such a national stage. There is an assumption with many, that male cheerleaders don’t have a tough job. They most likely hold one of the hardest jobs on the squad. If they’re performing stunts and lifts, it’s not only their job to keep everyone safe as they’re lifting but to also represent the team in the best light by continuing to perform during their daring tasks. Both artistry and strength are required to perform their job.
Back to Quinton and Napoleon
It is so unbelievably exciting for their squad and specifically them to be making their appearance at the Super Bowl. Both the Patriots and Rams cheerleaders are all athletes and artists. Quinton and Napoleon, at the biggest sporting event of the year will be proudly dancing and cheering for the LA Rams. Tune in Sunday!
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