MONTROSE, N.Y. - The Hendrick Hudson High School Sailors cheerleading team will be one of four squads featured on the first episode of MSG Varsity's "The Cheering Life."
The show takes viewers "behind the scenes to see what it's like to try out, train and compete as part of cheerleading squad," said MSG Varsity officials. "The Cheerleading Squad" season premiere airs at 12:30 p.m. Oct. 6, on MSG Varsity.
The Hendrick Hudson High School varsity competitive cheerleading team is one of the area's most successful, having finished second at this year's statewide "Cheer New York," competition in Utica.
"Cheerleading has become a great sport for our girls; it's become very competitive around the state. You go to competitions right now and the girls are doing great things right now. Not only are they cheering our games, but they're creating school spirit. (And) on the weekends, you can find them at some great competitions where there's some pretty high-level things going on," said Hen Hud Athletic Director Tom Baker.
Cheerleaders often practice up to four hours per day, six days per week. Seasons for cheerleaders are much longer, and a cheerleader feasibly could cheer for the entire year if he or she desired. That's because cheering takes place for both fall and winter sports, and there is competitive cheering in the spring.
In the last few years, the cheerleading world has seen a great debate as to whether the activity should be considered a sport. The American Association of Cheerleading Coaches and Administrators advocates classifying cheerleading as an "athletic activity," because of the skill and difficulty required.
"Today, cheerleading involves skills which require the strength of football, the grace of dance and the agility of gymnastics. Complex maneuvers are performed which challenge the limits of the body," reads the association's website, in a portion that specifically addresses cheerleading as sport.