Cheerleading is a sport that boasts a 100-year history and nearly four million athletes in the United States alone. Aspects of cheerleading can be seen in every part of American culture, from fashion accessories to pop music. But there was one decade in our nation’s past that was more cheerleader-centric than any other. Think big hair, bold prints, power ballads, and MTV. Yep, were talking about the 1980s. Here are some examples of cheerleading throughout this decade of bright color.
Saved By the Bell
Starting in 1989, this sitcom focused on the life and drama of six California students. The show mirrored the trials and tribulations of high school life in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and what high school would be complete without a cheerleading squad? Kelly Kapowski was the It Girl, in large part because she was also the head cheerleader. A flash of those red and white plastic pom poms, and the Bayside spirit filtered into houses worldwide.
With the rise of the music video on MTV, pop artists turned to costumes, characters, props and plots to promote their music through short narrative films. Toni Basil portrayed a cheerleader in one of the first videos to become popular, for her song “Hey Mickey.” With its chanting, cheer-like refrain and Basil’s colorful cheer poms, and her crisp choreography, this video shot to the top of the charts. And as one of the first cultural icons to bring cheerleading into the mainstream, Basil set the stage for cheerleader popularity to come.
The 1980s brought the birth of the mall to suburban America. What cheerleader didn’t go to the mall to stock up on pom pom accessories after practice? Stores in the mall were brimming with everything related to cheerleader pom poms, from yarn pom poms on socks, to headbands, roller blades, and jewelry. There was no such thing as having too much!
It is no secret that cheerleaders are athletes, with 62% of cheerleaders participating in a second sport. In addition, 12% of cheerleaders are dancers, so it is only natural that they would be a part of the 80s Jazzercise era. This fun, boisterous form of exercise was great for all, cheerleaders included!
From plastic pom poms, to custom pom poms, youth pom poms, and metallic cheer poms, Poms4Less is the place to go for any of your pom pom needs! So go get your 1980s on and feel the spirit!